FDA may lift ban on blood donations from gay men

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HARTFORD — The FDA is considering lifting a ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

An FDA committee met on Tuesday to discuss the ban, which dates back to 1983 and was implemented during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Some blood banks, medical groups and gay rights activists call the policy “outdated.”

The American Medical Association said advances in HIV testing mean science can no longer support the policy.

The American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers have called the ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted,” according to a report from The Hill.

Gay rights activists said the ban discriminates and perpetuates negative stereotypes, and members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus have also called for it to be lifted.

Blood safety experts want the FDA to think carefully before making a decision, saying there is no true way of knowing how it might impact the nation’s blood supply.

Those experts also argue that we do not fully know who is and is not contaminated.

If the ban is lifted, the American Medical Association said the U.S. would see 600,000 more pints of blood in its supply, which is enough to serve nearly two million Americans.

According to the report from The Hill, the FDA will likely introduce a new policy allowing men to donate only if they have not had sex with another man for one year.

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