California: Committee Urges County to Oppose FDA Ban on Blood Donations From Gay Men
February 21, 2008
A Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors committee says the county should formally oppose the Food and Drug Administrations ban on blood donations by gay men. The committee, made up of two members from the five-member board, voted on Feb. 14 to recommend that the board come out against the FDA ban.
Since 1983, FDA has banned blood donations from any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, arguing that such donors are 60 percent more likely to be infected with HIV than the rest of the population. However, the Red Cross and other blood-donation agencies argue that blood can now be adequately screened for HIV thanks to testing advances. In addition, they note, other groups at risk for HIV are not deferred for life.
Recently, the president of San Jose State University banned blood drives on campus, saying FDAs rule violates its non-discrimination policies.
The committee did not seek to ban blood drives in the county. Supervisors Liz Kniss and Ken Yeager noted that because blood-drive organizers are following the law, they are not violating county policies. The full board will soon consider whether to issue a formal resolution opposing the ban.
San Jose Mercury News
02.14.2008; Deborah Lohse
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.