Ed Team

Draft Guidance for Blood Ban Released

Filed By Ed Team | May 14, 2015 11:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: blood ban, FDA

Tuesday, draft guidance was released that outlines implementation of a deferral based policy utilizing a one year period of abstinence from same-sex sexual activity for men.

Sexually active gay and bisexual men will still be banned for life under these new guidelines.

The draft guidance states:

Although not making a change would maintain the current level of safety of the blood supply...there is evidence that the [lifetime] deferral policy is becoming less effective over time. In addition, the policy is perceived by some as discriminatory. [...] Change to a one-year deferral is also support by other evidence, including the experience in countries that have already changed their policies to a one-year deferral (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Japan, Sweden and United Kingdom).

Advocacy groups were quick to respond, "while the new policy is a step in the right direction toward an ideal policy that reflects the best scientific research, it still falls far short of a fully acceptable solution because it continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men," said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. "This policy prevents men from donating life-saving blood based solely on their sexual orientation rather than actual risk to the blood supply. It simply cannot be justified in light of current scientific research and updated blood screening technology. 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."

The FDA will take comments on the draft proposal for 60 days, and then they will begin to finalize the guidelines.

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