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Author Topic: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men  (Read 634 times)

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Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
source

A group of advisers to the US Federal Drug Administration are meeting for two days this week to consider overturning a controversial 30-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

The FDA, which regulates blood banks, currently prohibits any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from donating blood because, according to the agency, the excluded population is at an increased risk for HIV, Hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by blood. LGBT rights groups have long sought to overhaul the lifetime deferral policy, arguing that the restrictions are rooted in homophobia rather than modern science.

Last month, an advisory panel of doctors and blood-donation advocates recommended the FDA end the ban and move to a one-year deferral, bringing the US more in line with countries like the UK, Canada, and Australia. The FDA Blood Products Advisory committee will spend Tuesday and Wednesday considering that advice, although it is under no obligation to adopt the group’s proposed change.

If the FDA approves the rule change, only gay men who have been abstinent for one year will be permitted to donate blood. Put another way, any man who has had sex with another man in the past 12 months, regardless of whether the pair is in a committed relationship or practices safe sex, will be barred from donating blood.

All donated blood is rigorously tested for HIV and other viruses before being released to hospitals. But supporters of a celibacy period argue that the lag between the time of infection and the point when the virus can be detected in a person’s blood could result in false-negative test results. However, modern blood tests can detect HIV in as early as two weeks.

At a time when the American Red Cross has warned the national blood supply is currently lower than expected, a report by the Williams Institute, a think tank based at the UCLA School of Law, estimated that lifting the blood donations ban on gay men would likely result in an extra 360,600 donations , adding 615,300 additional pints of blood available for infusions. If the report’s estimates are correct, this would raise the national blood supply by between 2% and 4%.

The policy dates back to the early 1980s, when the country was in the throes of the Aids crisis and doctors and scientists understood little about the virus that would claim millions of lives over the next quarter-century. But as faster, more reliable testing for the virus has become available – and as the country’s attitude towards gay and bisexual Americans has become more progressive – activists and scientists have pushed for it to be changed.

A 2010 study published in Transfusion, the American Association of Blood Banks’ (AABB) monthly journal, found “no evidence that the implementation of the 12-month deferral for male-to-male sex resulted in an increased recipient risk for HIV in Australia”. The study said noncompliance, rather than the duration of the abstinence period, posed the greatest risk.

The AABB and the American Red Cross have supported changes to the current policy.

The proposal was met with mixed reactions, with some hailing the vote as the end of an era and a first step toward ending a deferral period, and others upset that a celibacy period would still be required.

Responding to a critic of the one-year abstinence period, the National Gay Blood Drive, a group that supports the policy shift, said on Twitter last month: “We support eliminating sexual orientation from the blood donation process altogether – this a huge first step in that direction.”
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 03:26:45 PM »
I hope this goes through, if only so when guys offer me sex I can respond "Thanks, but I'm saving myself for the bloodletting."

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 04:25:34 PM »
I should have put this section in bold:

If the FDA approves the rule change, only gay men who have been abstinent for one year will be permitted to donate blood. Put another way, any man who has had sex with another man in the past 12 months, regardless of whether the pair is in a committed relationship or practices safe sex, will be barred from donating blood.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 04:31:59 PM »
btw, African Americans make up 44% of new HIV cases -- imagine if the FDA had the same rules for that segment of the population.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline weasel

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Re: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 05:16:49 PM »

     I think this is a good way for Gay  men to be tested for HIV .

    There's no doubt  that this is why they are doing testing ,
    by the way , why not ?
     So many people never get tested , I just hope they have good
   Psychologists  on  staff !

                                                                Carl   
" Live and let Live "

Offline Almost2late

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Re: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 05:44:36 PM »
     I think this is a good way for Gay  men to be tested for HIV .

    There's no doubt  that this is why they are doing testing ,
    by the way , why not ?
     So many people never get tested , I just hope they have good
   Psychologists  on  staff !
Hell, I think its a great way to test all kinds of people ;)
source
All donated blood is rigorously tested for HIV and other viruses before being released to hospitals. But supporters of a celibacy period argue that the lag between the time of infection and the point when the virus can be detected in a person’s blood could result in false-negative test results. However, modern blood tests can detect HIV in as early as two weeks.
If they're gonna test the blood anyways, then wtf is the problem.. Does the blood go bad after two weeks?.. I don't understand why you would ban a group of people that may want to help their fellow human being.. And there are people that fit their criteria that wouldn't give a fuckin drop.. They should stop being such prudes.
"Every man has his own destiny: the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him." - Henry Miller

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBkwPYq4nhQ

“Nothing in the world can one imagine beforehand, not the least thing, everything is made up of so many unique particulars that cannot be forseen.” - Nostradamus

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline tednlou2

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Re: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 03:56:49 PM »
It appears the lifetime ban will remain in place, for now.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/fda-panel-gay-blood-donation-ban

Offline bocker3

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  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: FDA to consider lifting ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2014, 05:55:14 PM »
Hell, I think its a great way to test all kinds of people ;)
Actually, using blood donation as the way to get tested for HIV is not a wise move.  While the blood you donate is obviously tested - most blood banks are not going to get you the proper support you would need after finding out you have a positive test.  They will inform you in some way, but their primary role is to test blood products not support donors who may be diagnosed with an illness.

Oh -- and, if memory serves me, packed RBC's are good for ~42 days.  can't recall how long plasma or platelets may be good for, but packed cells are the primary need for transfusions anyway.

Some day these "experts" will use actual science to make decisions vs. politics and optics concerns to do so.  Being gay doesn't make you more risky -- an individual's behavior does.  {sigh}.......

Of course, it isn't all that surprising given that there are a fair number of people in the LGBT community who think this blanket ban should be maintained.  People of all stripes can't separate people from behavior, I guess

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

 


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