DEC 22, 2015 07:45 AM PST
US to Allow Blood Donations From Gay Men
WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
2 6 954

This past Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted its lifetime ban on blood donations from homosexual men. Since the start of the AIDS crisis in the early 1980s, the FDA banned all blood donations from gay and bisexual men in an effort to reduce HIV transmission in the blood supply. However, agency cited recent HIV scientific research and extensive consultations with external advisory committees to support its revised ruling.

There's still one big caveat though: Gay men can only donate blood if it's been at least 12 months since their last sexual contact with another man.

The restriction is due to a 10-day window between initial HIV infection and when it can be detected with standard blood screening techniques. According to the FDA, lifting the ban without any restrictions for gay and bisexual men would increase the risk of HIV transmission through the blood supply by 400%.

The US blood donation revision is in line with the policies in other countries like Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom. However, many criticize that the decision falls short of equality, as it discriminates against homosexual relationships and prevents gay men in long-term relationships from participating in blood donations.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 07, 2018
Videos
MAY 07, 2018
What is Ataxia?
Ataxia is a degenerative neurological disease that affects movement. It happens in the part of the brain called the cerebellum, which controls voluntary mo
MAY 08, 2018
Videos
MAY 08, 2018
How NASA Could Study Titan's Oceans
NASA has an interest in exploring Titan's oceans and plans to take an unconventional approach to studying them: send an interplanetary submarine to dive de
MAY 13, 2018
Videos
MAY 13, 2018
What Might Hearing From Aliens Actually Sound Like?
Astronomers have long-theorized about the presence of intelligent alien life elsewhere in the universe, but humankind has yet to discover it anywhere offic
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
What happens when an astronaut drops something in space?
This is the story of a spatula that became a satellite. A spatula that got untethered from the astronaut that it was on only to go whizzing off into orbit
JUN 07, 2018
Videos
JUN 07, 2018
Nipah Virus Outbreak in India Kills 17
Nipah virus, an emerging infection, was detected recently for the first time in southern India.
JUN 11, 2018
Videos
JUN 11, 2018
This is What Happens to the Body After Death
Death can be a taboo topic that most people don’t like discussing, but there’s undoubtedly a scientific interest in what happens to the body af
Loading Comments...