gayNEWS: F.D.A. Easing Ban on Gays, to Let Some Give Blood December 24, 2014
Interesting news coming out of the FDA just before Christmas. Some gay men (those who have NOT had sex with another male in the last 12 months) will now be able to donate blood. This is a huge shift from the previous lifetime ban for all gay men that has been in place since the early days of the AIDS epidemic in 1983.
|“Ics-codablock-blood-bag sample” by ICSident – eigenes Bildmaterial.
Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons
This issue is being promoted as a rights issue… gay men should have the right to donate blood, just as heterosexuals do. And there is point to be made that monogamous gay men having protected sex are less likely to contract HIV than a heterosexual who sleeps around. But, ultimately, the recipient of the blood donation doesn’t want ANY chance of receiving a contaminated supply and that burden falls squarely on the organizations collecting and testing each donation and not on the sexual orientation of the donor. That said, ALL people should be willing to remove themselves as potential donors if there is any chance of them contaminating the supply. It’s the honorable and right thing to do.
Here’s a snippet from the New York Times article…
“While the burden of H.I.V. in the United States falls disproportionately on gay and bisexual men — Mr. Cahill cited estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that two-thirds of an estimated 50,000 new H.I.V. infections in the United States each year occur among men who have sex with men — the vast majority of gay and bisexual men are not H.I.V. positive.”
The FDA calculates that these changes to the policy “could add about 317,000 pints of blood to the nation’s supply annually, an increase of 2 percent to 4 percent.”
So is this new policy the FDA’s Christmas present to the gay community or did they try and bury the story by releasing it at the peak of the Christmas frenzy?
Here’s the full article from the New York Times.