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Report: FDA to allow gay men in monogamous relationships to donate blood

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NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration may be ready to further ease restrictions on gay and bisexual men who want to donate blood.

“In 2020, the policies still changed, but they remained discriminatory. Now, I think we’re moving in the right direction,” actor and filmmaker Yuval David told CBS2’s Tony Aiello on Wednesday.

David is an advocate for changing blood donation guidelines, which for many years prohibited men who have sex with men from donating blood at all, due to concerns about HIV and AIDS.

“If somebody wants to do that selfless act of donating blood in order to help somebody else, their blood should be respected, their blood should be treated with science and not stigma,” David said.

The FDA eased the rules in 2020 during a pandemic blood shortage, allowing gay and bisexual men who had abstained from sex for three months to donate.

Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting the abstinence rule would be dropped for gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships.

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The newspaper says the FDA is likely to follow the lead of other countries that screen blood donors with an individualized risk assessment, asking about recent sex partners and practices.

“For example, Italy adopted a screening tool and studies of the blood supply in Italy have shown no increase in risk of contracting HIV from the blood supply,” said Jason Cianciotto, vice president of GMHC.

Blood centers test all donations for viruses, including hepatitis and HIV, to keep the blood supply safe.

The FDA is still working on new guidelines and expect to issue new rules early next year.

GLAAD and other advocacy groups say they will continue to lobby the FDA to lift all restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

Source: CBS

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