US lifts 30 year ban and allows some gay men to donate blood

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 23 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6982
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The US will lift its three decade long ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men (MSM) and allow donations by those who have had no sexual contact with another man in the previous 12 months, the Food and Drug Administration announced on 21 December.

FDA officials said that the decision was based on a review of recent studies, US epidemiological data, and the experiences of other countries that have relaxed their policies on blood donations by MSM, such as Australia, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, which have adopted one year deferral policies.1 Published studies indicated that shifting to a 12 month deferral policy would not change risk to the blood supply, FDA officials said. Data on the safety of …

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