Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

U.S. News

Gay Men Condemn Blood Ban as Biased

August 16, 2010

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mulls whether to allow gay men to donate blood, adherents on both sides of the question continue to press their case to the agency and to the public at large.

"No one has a right to give blood," said Dr. Steven Kleinman, senor medical adviser to the American Association of Blood Banks, which opposes the current ban on such donations. "But we have to ask the question: Are there ethical fairness issues involved?"

An FDA advisory committee in June recommended against lifting the ban, and a spokesperson said the agency typically follows such committee recommendations. She did not provide a timetable for the FDA decision.

Advertisement
FDA over the years has reviewed and sustained the ban, citing the prevalence of HIV among men who have sex with men and limitations of testing blood for the virus. The agency's stance is supported most notably by the hemophilia community.

"We appreciate the altruism of those wishing to donate," said Mark Skinner, president of the World Federation of Hemophilia. "Currently, we don't have answers to change the system, but through research we may be able to answer the critical questions in a way that would allow adapting the system."

Others say the ban is medically and scientifically unjustified. These critics include Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and 17 other senators who sent a letter to FDA saying the ban ignored the difference between safe and unprotected sexual activity by gay men.

Testing technology has improved greatly since the ban was implemented in the 1980s, critics note. Many support a requirement that a man defer blood donation for a year after having sex with another man, a provision that would align screening for gay men with that of others who have engaged in high-risk behavior.

"Turning away perfectly good donors gives an incorrect and harmful message about transmission risk," said Bebe Anderson, HIV project director for Lambda Legal, an advocacy organization that opposes the ban.

Back to other news for August 2010

Adapted from:
New York Times
08.03.2010; Jacqueline Mroz


  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

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.
 
See Also
More News on Donating or Receiving Blood
Advertisement:
Find out how a Walgreens specially trained pharmacist can help you

No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Tools
 

Advertisement