FDA Formally proposes to allow Gay and Bisexual Men to Donate Blood

On Tuesday, the Federal Drug Administration has proposed its newly drafted policy as per which, gay men will be able to donate blood. It will happen for the first time in 30 years that gay men would also be eligible for donating blood.

The draft proposal stated, “Male donors previously deferred because of a history of sex with another man, even one time, since 1977, may be eligible to donate provided that they have not had sex with another man during the past 12 months and they meet all other donor eligibility criteria”.

In 1985, the FDA came up with new regulations as per which, the men who had sex with even one man after 1977 were not allowed to donate blood. The FDA took this step at the time when HIV/ AIDS epidemic was on. Also, the FDA wanted to prevent further cases of HIV.

The decision was never considered right by the critics of the ban, including the American Red Cross and gay rights advocates. They have termed the decision to be uncalled for and discriminatory.

Now, the FDA has been proposing changes as a change has come in the situation. There is now increased awareness and safety level. When the ban was levied at that time, HIV tests longer to complete. But now, HIV tests can detect the virus in just nine days.

The Human Rights Council said that the lift on the ban is welcoming, but the FDA continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men. As per the proposal, men would require to wait for at least a year after having sexual relationship with other men before donating blood.

The FDA said that countries, including the UK, Sweden, Japan, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and Hungary have one-year deferral policy in place.