Great news: FDA to lift ban on blood donations by gay, bisexual men

Great news: FDA to lift ban on blood donations by gay, bisexual men

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a change that experts said was long overdue and could lift the annual blood supply by as much as 4 percent.

The F.D.A. enacted the ban in 1983, early in the AIDS epidemic. …

In a statement, the agency said it had “carefully examined and considered the scientific evidence” before changing the policy. It said it intended to issue a draft guidance detailing the change in 2015.

The shift puts the United States on par with European countries like Britain, which adjusted its lifetime ban in favor of a 12-month restriction in 2011. …

“This is a major victory for gay civil rights,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a law professor at Harvard University who specializes in bioethics and health. “We’re leaving behind the old view that every gay man is a potential infection source.” He said, however, that the policy was “still not rational enough.”

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