Toby Talbot/AP PhotoThe FDA will recommend lifting the ban on blood donated of gay men

FDA to recommend policy change to allow gay men to donate blood, with some restrictions

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that next year the agency will recommend lifting a ban on blood donations by gay men, though some restrictions will remain.

The policy change would allow men who have sex with men to donate blood one year after their last sexual contact, rather than face a lifetime deferral due to their sexual orientation, said a statement from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. The FDA intends to issue a draft guidance recommending the change in policy in 2015.

“This recommended change is consistent with the recommendation of an independent expert advisory panel the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, and will better align the deferral period with that of other men and women at increased risk for HIV infection,” Hamburg said in the statement.

Plans are already in the works to implement a national blood surveillance system that will help monitor the effect of such a policy change, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health's National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, according to the FDA.

Last summer, San Francisco stepped up efforts to join a national movement against a ban on gay men donating blood. Supervisor Scott Wiener in July introduced a resolution in support of overturning the ban, which gained the backing of Mayor Ed Lee.

The nonbinding resolution was passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 1.

Bay Area NewsFDAgay menU.S. Food and Drug Administration

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Abundant Birth Project gives expecting mothers one less thing to worry about

Program aims to reduce Black, Pacific Islander preterm births with monthly payments, support

Bay Area’s future could include a lot more remote work

Regional planning agency approved long-term work-from-home strategy to reduce emissions

SFUSD reopening plan slowly taking shape

Six private schools among first to get waivers to resume in-person teaching

What an odd, half full city San Francisco has become

Despite feeling empty, mad and sad, we can make changes by getting out the vote

Most Read