Ban Lifted by FDA on Blood Donation by Gays but Strict Rules AddedDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : May 13, 2015 17:25 IST
Since 1985, when the epidemic of HIV/AIDS was at its height in the United States, all men who had sex, even if just one time, with another man were prohibited from donating their blood. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted that ban on Tuesday for gay blood donating. However, a long road is left to travel before the situation is completely rectified as the FDA introduced a set of rules that are, to say the least, very strict.
Thus, following 30 years of which men who had sex with other males even just once were strictly forbidden from giving blood, the FDA makes significant changes, but still makes it a difficult thing to do.
At this time, gay men can donate blood, much like anyone else can, but with the additional condition that they have not taken part in sexual intercourse with another man or men, for a minimum of one year.
The reactions to the regulatory agency s decision were great to say the least and made the rules by the FDA very controversial. Most of the reactions convey that it remains a big act of discrimination against the gay community to institute such strict rules, especially when current technology would not require any additional testing to take place on gay men s blood samples.
This whole situation started 30 years ago when AIDS was spreading widely amongst the gay community and everyone needing blood was at risk of becoming contaminated through a blood transfusion.
The FDA decided then that the best course of safety would be to reject all men who had sexual relations with other men.
However, the ban did not prevent the amount of people who were contaminated with the deadly virus through a blood transfusion from rising until 2001. However, it might have kept the numbers down until the screening technology became more advanced.
At present, all blood samples are carefully tested for the presence of HIV amongst other diseases.
The FDA has not given a reason for its decision to make men abstain from gay sex for one year before donating blood.
Ban Lifted by FDA on Blood Donation by Gays but Strict Rules Added