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American Medical Association Wants FDA To Lift Ban On Gay Male Blood Donation

In a bold move, which may have a big impact, the American Medical Association has voted to oppose the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations's ban on gay male blood donation.

ABC News reports:

The FDA ban originated in 1983 in response to the AIDS outbreak, when little was known about the virus and gay men were more likely to have contracted the virus.

However, now that the ban is almost 30 years old, some experts say the policy is outdated. HIV and AIDS testing has become standard practice in blood donations to minimize risk to recipients. According to the FDA's website, approximately 1 in 2 million blood transfusions results in an HIV infection.

"The lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men is discriminatory and not based on sound science," AMA board member Dr. William Kobler said in a statement. "This new policy urges a federal policy change to ensure blood donation bans or deferrals are applied to donors according to their individual level of risk and are not based on sexual orientation alone."

The AMA recommends that the FDA change its policy so that gay men are evaluated on an individual level rather than being lumped together in a high-risk category, in addition to crafting a policy that more accurately represents scientific research.

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Organizations like amfAR are applauding the AMA's decision.

“As our nation continues to struggle with blood shortages, it’s time that we move from this antiquated and blanket policy,” said Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR’s CEO.  “There are other ways to screen donors who are at high risk of HIV as the technology to detect signs of the virus in the blood has vastly improved since the 1980s.”

“This decades-long policy not only goes against science, it also discriminates against gay men who are already subject to stigma in our nation,” said Chris Collins, amfAR’s vice president and director of public policy.  “We are very pleased to see the AMA’s leadership on this issue and we will continue working for a more rational policy on blood donation.” 

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Do you think this vote by the American Medical Association will move the FDA towards removing this ban against gay male blood donation, Instincters?

 

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