Lifting Ban for Blood Donations from Gay Men

Lifting Ban for Blood Donations from Gay Men

The FDA has recommended lifting a ban on blood donations from gay men.  ABC News reported that FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg released a statement regarding the proposal, indicating that the move could increase the nation’s blood supply by 4% a year (12/23, story 7, 0:15, Muir).   The FDA statement goes on to explain that the proposal comes with recommendations from an independent expert advisory panel and the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability .

The FDA report concludes that modern blood screening techniques mean that there is no longer need for a ban on blood donations from gay men, the Wall Street Journal reports (12/24, Burton, Subscription Publication). Current blood screening techniques are able to find HIV in one unit of blood as early as 9 days after a donor was exposed to the virus, according to MSNBC (12/24).  The FDA also indicated that, along with the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, it will put in place a monitoring system to detect any effects that the proposed change has and to ensure the continued safety of the nation’s blood supply.

Dr. Steven Lipsky

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