Going back to the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s, the FDA has had a ban on donations from men who claimed to have had sexual intercourse with other males within a 12 month period prior to donating blood. This precaution was originally done to reduce the amount of HIV infected blood that was being donated at the time. There was a lot of fear that blood donated from this demographic would contain a higher likeliness of infection due to the higher transmission rates among males participating in that type of lifestyle. This nearly prevented all gay and bisexual men from donating blood for the last 31 years.
FDA Lifts 31 Year Old Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men
Now that today’s blood screening tests are much more capable of detecting an HIV infection, these types of antiquated precautions are no longer necessary across the board. New testing procedures can detect and HIV infection within as little as 2 weeks of contraction, and all donated blood is now tested for HIV/AIDS as well as other infectious diseases. This means that the chances of becoming infected with HIV from donated blood is virtually impossible.
By conducting scientific studies in conjunction with the agencies in other governments, the FDA was able to determine that today’s screening methods are acceptable enough at detecting the HIV virus, that they should be able to accept donations from almost any type of donor.
By lifting the decades old ban on blood donations from gay men, there should be some increase in the amount of life-saving blood donated at blood banks and blood drives across the country. In the past if a gay male wanted to donate blood, he would be forced to lie about his sexuality during the pre-screening process.
The LGBT community has sighed a bit of relief, as the proposed removal of this ban helps remove limitations placed on their community based on the false stigma that HIV/AIDS is primarily a disease within the gay community. It is still true that unprotected intercourse between two males is still an unsafe practice, but it is certainly not the only method of transmission for the virus.
FDA Lifts 31 Year Old Ban On Blood Donations From Gay Men.