US FDA Ready to lift ban on Blood donations from Gay and Bisexual Men

Gay and bisexual men who have refrained from sex for a year would be permitted to give blood in the United States, under a latest federal policy revealed Tuesday.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared its plans in a draft guidance that was initially proposed in December. The office said it would gather public comments on the proposition for 60 days prior to issuing the final rules.


Executing the “one year deferral” condition for gay or bisexual men would turn around a three-decade-old ban on donations from this gender group that traces back to the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.


The FDA said it was transforming its policy in view of information from different nations that show permitting such donors would not build the risk of HIV-infected blood entering America’s blood supply.


Dr. Peter Marks, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, noted in December that the absolute most convincing data for the change originated from Australia, which in 2000 executed a one-year deferral on blood donations from sexually active gay men.


Mark said: “These studies documented no adverse effects on the safety of the blood supply with a one-year deferral.”


Mark assessed that about a half portion of the individuals now banned from giving blood under the present policy would have the capacity to donate under the new policy.


The change will better adjust the FDA’s donation policy for gay and bi-sexual men with its policies in regards to other individuals conceivably exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, authorities said.


For instance, there is at present a maximum one-year deferral policy in the United States for blood donations by men who have had intercourse with an HIV-positive woman or commercial sex workers. The same strives for woman who have had intercourse with an HIV-positive men.


On the other hand, sexually active gay men in a monogamous relationship would not be permitted to give blood under the new policy.

The FDA likewise will execute a national blood surveillance system that will help the office screen the impact of the policy change and guarantee the safety of the blood supply, according to federal health officials.

The American Red Cross has discovered that the risk of an HIV-infected blood donation getting into the national blood supply is around 1 in every 1.5 million units, out of 15.7 million units collected per year, Marks stated.

Many donations test positive for HIV every year, except these are discovered through testing and expelled from the blood supply, he added.



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