The federal government has one study in a planning stage and three studies under way that could eventually provide evidence to end the ban on blood donations from all gay men, a federal official said Wednesday.
The key question is, “Can blood safety be maintained or improved under a revised blood-donation screening criteria that would permit donations by lower-risk MSM [men who have sex with men] donors?” Health and Human Services official James Berger told a meeting of the Blood Products Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration.
HHS “is committed to continuous improvement in the safety of the nation’s blood supply,” said Mr. Berger, the acting director of the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability.
Should gay men lie about their lifestyle/sexual orientation in order to donate blood
FDA: Stop discriminating against me and other gay men who want to donate blood
There was a time not too long ago where as mayor, I could officiate a wedding, but could not get married myself. I recall a situation in which the boy scouts came to visit a city council meeting in order to earn their merit badge and after the meeting, a boy asked me, "Were you also a boy scout -- is that how you became mayor?" And most recently, I hosted a blood drive on city property, but was banned from donating blood myself.
As the mayor of Campbell, providing for the welfare of the general public is a top priority. As a gay man, however, I am conflicted in my advocacy for blood drives. Under current U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, a man who has sex with another man is deferred for life from donating blood. The ban was imposed in 1983 when there were no reliable tests for screening blood for HIV/AIDS. It was also made during a time of mass medical confusion and cultural homophobia associated with HIV/AIDS. The current FDA ban is wildly outdated and perpetuates unfair labels against gay and bisexual men that live on through decades of discrimination.