The United States FDA considers lifting the ban on gay men donating blood, after it was put in place more than 30 years ago.
The Food and Drug Administration does not currently allow men who are having sex with other men to donate blood because they are at a higher risk of hepatitis B, HIV and numerous other diseases that can be transmitted through a transfusion of blood.
The ban on gay men donating blood has been however has been a subject of criticism by politicians, the Red Cross, blood centers, politicians and advocates of the LGBT community. The ban on gay men donating blood has been described as being discriminatory, archaic and unscientific. The advisory board of the FDA has recommended the lift of the ban on gay men donating blood but officials are not obliged to follow the advice.
The ban was put into use during the United States AIDS epidemic of 1983. The ban on gay men donating blood has been reviewed in 1992 but it’s argued that it disregards the scientific proof that states the blood gathered from gay men doesn’t pose a risk to the public as long as the blood is properly screened for infections.
An LGBT activist who created the National Gay Blood Drive, Ryan James Yezak will speak at the conference on December 2.
“We’ve got the ball rolling. I feel like this is a tide-turning vote. There’s been a lot of feet dragging and I think they’re realizing it now.”
Wales and England had a same ban on gay men donating blood but it was removed in 2011. Even so, men aren’t allowed to donate their blood until after a year they last had anal sex or oral sex with another person of the same sex. Should the FDA lift the ban, it is expected that limits comparable to the ones in England and Wales will be put into practice.
Jennifer Rodriguez, a Food and Drug Administration spokesperson did not state if the FDA plans on lifting the ban on gay men donating blood or not.
“Following deliberations taking into consideration the available evidence, the FDA will issue revised guidance, if appropriate.”