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US FDA to allow gay, bisexual men to donate blood without abstaining from sex

Members of the LGBTQIA community – i.e. gay and bisexual men – who are in monogamous relationships will soon be able to donate blood without them abstaining from sex. This is according to a rule change currently being drawn up by health officials from the Food and Drug Administration in the US.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels.com

USA is finally catching up to what’s right, right now… and to other developed countries.

Members of the LGBTQIA community – i.e. gay and bisexual men – who are in monogamous relationships will soon be able to donate blood without them abstaining from sex. This is according to a rule change currently being drawn up by health officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, which currently bars men who have sex with men (MSM) from having sexual intercourse for at least three months before donating blood.

FDA’s change of policy was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The existing discriminatory policy originated in the 1980s, at the peak of the AIDs epidemic, when tests for HIV were not sensitive enough to make sure that donated blood was not contaminated. And while this ban has been lifted in 2015, MSM are still required to abstain from sex for a year before donating, eventually lowered to three months in 2020.

Heterosexual people – no matter the number of their sex partners, or the frequency of their sexual engagements – are not banned from donating blood.

There is, however, no specific timeline for when FDA will implement changes in its policies.

But if/when finally implemented, it will bring the US in line with other countries that already lifted restrictions on MSM donating blood, including France, Ireland, Germany, New Zealand, and UK, Spain and Mexico.

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