The FDA's Unscientific And Anti-Gay Blood Donation Policy

June 17, 2016 10:00 PM

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The FDA's Unscientific And Anti-Gay Blood Donation Policy

The FDA made a small and insignificant change to the policy at the end of 2014; whereas gay and bisexual men were previously banned from blood donation for life, they are currently banned for "only" a year since their last sexual encounter - meaning, of course, that there is still an effective lifetime ban on non-celibate gay and bisexual men. Especially since HIV can now be detected in blood "as little as just a week after exposure" and new technologies have almost completely eliminated the risk of HIV transmission through blood donated in high-income countries in general, there's little basis for such a long deferral period for people who have actually engaged in high-risk behaviors, let alone those, like many gay and bisexual men, who haven't.

If the FDA truly wants to "rely on scientific evidence," as White House spokesman Josh Earnest recently said they should, the agency must end the ban altogether.

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