FDA Moves to Ease Restrictions on Gay Men Giving Blood


By Cara Murez and Robin Foster 

HealthDay Reporters

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2022 (HealthDay Information) – U.S. Meals & Drug Administration insurance policies which have restricted blood donations from males who’ve intercourse with males could quickly ease.

For the time being, FDA coverage doesn’t enable blood donation from males who’ve had intercourse with different males up to now three months. That is already a shorter timeframe than up to now, when the company required a one-year hole.

The company is now contemplating switching to questionnaires that target particular person threat, reasonably than blanket limitations, CNN reported.

“The FDA stays dedicated to gathering the scientific information associated to different donor deferral insurance policies that keep a excessive degree of blood security,” the company stated in an announcement issued Wednesday. “We anticipate issuing up to date draft steerage within the coming months.”

Data collected by way of a donor eligibility questionnaire and blood surveillance “will probably assist a coverage transition to particular person risk-based donor screening questions for decreasing the danger of HIV transmission,” the company added, CNN reported.

The FDA modified these tips in 2020 as the necessity for blood donations grew throughout the pandemic, CNN reported.

“Whereas right now’s stories of an overdue transfer from the FDA is a vital step, our group and main medical consultants won’t cease advocating for the FDA to raise all restrictions in opposition to certified LGBTQ blood donor candidates,” Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO and president of GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy group, stated in an announcement.

Different nations have already made comparable strikes: Since 2020, males in a long-term relationship with one other man have been allowed to donate blood in the UK, although different males who’ve intercourse with males should nonetheless wait to donate for 3 months.

A Wall Avenue Journal report on Wednesday cited sources conversant in the FDA plan, saying that males who’re in monogamous relationships with different males can be allowed to donate blood. Those that have had a brand new sexual associate and have had anal intercourse up to now three months wouldn’t be allowed to make a donation, CNN reported.

“As LGBTQ leaders and medical consultants have been saying for years: bans and restrictions on blood donations from homosexual and bisexual males are rooted in stigma, not science,” Ellis stated.

Medical and blood donation organizations voiced their assist of the plan.

“The AMA [American Medical Association] relentlessly advocates for eliminating public insurance policies that don’t align with scientific proof and greatest moral practices, which is why we now have urged the FDA to make use of rational, scientifically-based deferral durations for donation of blood, corneas and different tissues which are pretty and constantly utilized to donors in keeping with their particular person threat,” AMA President Dr. Jack Resneck Jr. instructed CNN.

The American Purple Cross stated Wednesday it “believes blood donation eligibility shouldn’t be decided by strategies which are based mostly upon sexual orientation and is dedicated to working with companions towards reaching this purpose.”

The Purple Cross added that it has been concerned within the FDA-funded ADVANCE examine to find out whether or not a questionnaire that assessed particular person dangers in homosexual and bisexual donors might exchange a blanket time-based coverage.

Extra info

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers has extra on donating blood.



SOURCE: CNN; statements, Nov 30, 2022, GLAAD, American Purple Cross


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