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Agencies Reconsider Blood Donation Policy for Gay Men

“The agency will take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, submitted a press release regarding the blood donor deferral period for sexually active gay men . The agency stated it would now be taking steps to revise the current policy which places a ban on any man who has sex with another man since 1977. The updated policy would prohibit men from donating blood for one year since last sexual contact with another man.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released this statement in response to the FDA’s announcement:

“Today’s announcement is a welcome step in the right direction, however, I am disappointed that low-risk gay men are still being discriminated against with this outdated policy. Healthy Americans who don’t engage in risky behavior, regardless of their sexual orientation, should have the opportunity to donate blood and help in the effort to save lives. I look forward to working with Secretary Burwell to build on the step taken today by removing this discriminatory ban while keeping our blood supply safe.”

“I am disappointed that low-risk gay men are still being discriminated against with this outdated policy.”

-Sen. Murray (D-WA)

Senator Murray has previously  called for a reexamination of the outdated policy, signing a letter in June, 2012 that can be viewed here.

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