FDA Considering Changing Policy Banning Sexually Active Homosexual Men From Donating Blood

BloodbankWASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reconsidering its current ban on allowing homosexual men who have been sexually active within the past year to donate blood.

On Tuesday, the FDA announced that it was opening up a public comment period about the issue, advising that it is considering switching from a time-based policy to a personal risk-based assessment.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is establishing a public docket for comment on the Agency’s blood donor deferral recommendations for reducing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission,” the notice issued by the administration outlines.

“Interested persons are invited to submit comments, supported by scientific evidence such as data from research, regarding potential blood donor deferral policy options to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, including the feasibility of moving from the existing time-based deferrals related to risk behaviors to alternate deferral options, such as the use of individual risk assessments,” it continues.

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, told reporters that feedback may influence the direction of the administration’s policy on blood donation.

“The FDA will carefully consider all of the information submitted as it determines the appropriate next steps, and we will continue to review the agency’s donor deferral policies to ensure they reflect the most up-to-date scientific knowledge,” he said. “We are committed to obtaining the needed scientific evidence to move to alternative donor assessment strategies in the future.”

As previously reported, the FDA first announced in 2014 its intent to loosen its restrictions on blood donations from homosexual men, stating that it would “take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact.”

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Last December, it issued its final guidance on the matter, advising that it compared its policies with current scientific evidence surrounding HIV transmission, as well policy changes implemented by other countries.

“Ultimately, the 12-month deferral window is supported by the best available scientific evidence, at this point in time, relevant to the U.S. population,” Mark stated at the time. “We will continue to actively conduct research in this area and further revise our policies as new data emerge.”

The FDA first enacted its policy in 1983 during the height of the AIDS crisis. Some have decried the ban as being discriminatory toward homosexuals while others believe that it is necessary to protect public health.

“There are several highly disturbing aspects to this politically-motivated change in the United States’ blood donation policy,” Peter LaBarbera, president Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, told reporters in December. “First of all, homosexual activists frame this entire issue in terms of so-called ‘anti-gay discrimination’ and equality, instead of prioritizing above all the safety of the American blood supply.”

“Secondly,” the FDA’s report shows that a small percentage of homosexual men have ignored the blood donation ban,” he continued. “Now we are going to trust practicing homosexuals with an even looser regulation?”


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  • robertzaccour

    It’s an aids risk.

  • Michael C

    The idea that a monogamously married couple would be ineligible to donate blood is simply ridiculous.

    • Amos Moses

      Disingenuous comment at best ……….

      • [email protected]

        not at all. it is a comment that is spot on and hits at the heart of the matter. we need a policy that addresses actual risk levels, not blanket time based policies that are overly broad to the point of being counter productive.

    • Oboehner

      ROFL, monogamous homosexual men, that’s a good one!

      • sangrita

        Why is it a “good one”? All the homosexual men looking to get married aren’t doing so because they are promiscuous.

        • Oboehner

          Riiiight, how little you know of gay men.

          • sangrita

            Does that mean you know a lot about them? Hmmm.

      • [email protected]

        there are monogamous gay men and if you are concerned that gay men are not monogamous enough then you should support things that encourage and support monogamy like marriage. it is absurd to try to deny to gay people the tools to support monogamy and then use them not being monogamous as an argument to deny those tools all the more.

        • Oboehner

          And you believe in santa too I suppose, unless of course 10 minutes is long enough to be considered monogamous, LOL.

    • D Sims

      First, what you call marriage is only a legal facade to a small group of people. Real covenant marriage is two becoming one consummated by physical union. Second, donating blood is a crap shoot no matter how you slice it. You have to take the persons word for it and man’s word is fickle at best.

  • archaeologist

    the selfishness of homosexuals knows no boundaries.

    • sangrita

      If homosexuals want to give blood, that is the opposite of selfish.

      • archaeologist

        no you would be in error on that point

        • sangrita

          Not at all. If they care enough about saving lives that they donate blood, in what sense are they selfish?

          • archaeologist

            whatever delusion you need…

          • sangrita

            People donating blood to save lives being an unselfish, generous act, is a delusion? On what planet?

    • [email protected]

      so if a gay man who has been tested and is fully risk free wants to donate blood that is selfish how? truing qualified people away is never a good policy and that applies here as well. smarter policies that are less of a blunt instrument is always a move in the right direction.

      • archaeologist

        one would have the question the validity of the tests as we know that certain diseases do not show up right away and can incubate for years before expressing themselves.

        plus placing other people in potential danger is not an act of generosity. no homosexual man or woman should be allowed to donate anything.

        • [email protected]

          so the same goes for heterosexual people then right? i mean i guess we also need to question the validity of the testing for heterosexual people and one of them might have a disease so they should also not be allowed to donate blood either. I mean its the exact same thing, if that’s the standard you are going to use…the potential for disease even after screening then we should just not allow anyone to donate blood.

  • Nidalap

    It IS terribly politically incorrect to label high-risk behavior correctly…

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    FDA wants mankind to get sick on a polluted, dying planet. The Judeo-Christian values alone cherish everyone’s life and strive after life. Medical ethics have any meaning only with the Christian virtues.

    • [email protected]

      no, that is not at all what they want. what they want is a system that does a better job at letting people who are safe to donate blood do so, not one that is overly broad in its restriction to the point of being counter-productive.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Immorality is truly suicidal in every sense.

  • [email protected]

    well good, the policy should be an evidence based one and one that looks at screening out real risk, not using a blanket time based ban that is overly wide in reach. people said that it would be terrible to move from an indefinite ban to only one year and that has gone fine. in the same way this change if it happens will go fine. casting an overly wide ban is counter-productive to the pursuit of health.

    • Nidalap

      Not quite as counter-productive as casting an overly narrow ban would be, but there you go…