US lifts lifetime ban on gay blood donations

The United States on December 21, 2015 formally lifted a decades-old absolute ban, insituted during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, that has prevented gay men from donating blood; a new policy will permit gay men celibate for one year to donateThe United States on Monday formally lifted its lifetime ban on blood donations by gay men, replacing the rule with a 12-month waiting period after last sexual contact. The decision by the US Food and Drug Administration brings US policy in line with several other developed nations, including France, Japan and Australia, which all recently moved to allow men who have sex with men (MSM) to donate blood, as long as they have not had intimate relations in the past year. "In reviewing our policies to help reduce the risk of HIV transmission through blood products, we rigorously examined several alternative options, including individual risk assessment," said Peter Marks, deputy director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

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