Gay men can now donate blood, FDA lifts ban

FDA eases 30-year-old law prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood

Federal health officials are lifting the nation's 32-year-old lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, but major restrictions will remain on who can donate.

The FDA said its reasoning in banning blood donations in September 1985 from any man who had sex with another man since 1977 at that time was due to the strong clustering effect of the HIV spread among those populations.

However, gay rights advocates said the updated policy is still discriminatory.

One blood center in Austin says the policy reversal has been a long-time coming. This was done to show that it would not jeopardize the country's blood supply.

"Therefore, people who engage in activities that pose an increased risk of infectious disease such as HIV and hepatitis B or C are not allowed to donate blood", the HSA spokesman told The Straits Times.

Defer for 12 months from the most recent tattoo, ear or body piercing.

The US is not alone in this new policy.

The drive's founder is HLN Development Coordinator Ryan James Yezak, who urges the FDA to "move toward a deferral based upon individual risk assessment".

Nelson points out he can't donate blood for a year after he returns from countries where he might have gotten infected with malaria. "This new policy doesn't do enough to end this stigma", said Doug Wirth, president and CEO of Amida Care.

In November 2014, an HHS advisory panel voted 16-2 in favor of allowing MSM to donate blood if they had not had sex with another man for one year. "We are committed to working towards an eventual outcome that both minimizes risk to the blood supply and treats gay and bisexual men with the respect they deserve".

According to BBC, a ban that has been put in place during the Aids crisis in the 1980s has been partially lifted by the United States government.

Mr. Marks said the administration weighed both sides' arguments before deciding to finalize the policy change it proposed past year.

The Food and Drug Administration outlined significant changes to its donation policies as they relate to the potential for transmitting HIV through the blood supply.

"It continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men", said David Stacy, of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest US gay rights group.

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