The Food and Drug
Administration's Blood Products Advisory Committee
will consider scrapping its ban on gay blood donors
when the committee meets later this year, FDA
officials told The Washington Post. Currently,
FDA regulations permanently bar all men who've had
sex with another man since 1977 from ever donating blood.
But FDA spokesman
Stephen King told the Post that the agency will
consider lifting the ban now that three major blood
industry organizations--the American Red Cross, the
American Association of Blood Banks, and
America's Blood Centers--are now saying the
lifetime ban is unnecessary. The groups say that
because blood-screening methods are much more accurate
today than when the ban was initiated in the 1980s,
sexually active gay men should be treated the same as
members of other high-risk groups and deferred from
donating for one year after high-risk activities.
support the use of rational, scientifically based
deferral policies, and we want them to be applied fairly and
consistently," Ryland Dodge, a Red Cross spokesman, told the
Post. "All these things come together to make
us much more confident that our layers of safety have
improved to the point where they should review the
policy." (The Advocate)
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