For the first time the FDA recommends that the U.S. soften its ban on blood donations from gay men. The controversial blood ban came into effect in the 1980s, at the height of the AIDS/HIV epidemic.
Currently, men who have had sex with other men are banned for life from donating blood. If the recommendations is supported, The U.S. Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, state that gay men would be able to donate blood after one year of abstinence.
The FDA will consider the recommendations next month after hearing the views on the policy, from health and medical experts. Human Rights Campaign want the ban abolished completely but for now believe it is a big step in the right direction. HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy said “This recommendation — although nominally better than the existing policy — falls far short because it continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men, preventing them from donating life-saving blood based solely on their sexual orientation”.