FDA lifts ban on blood donations from gay, bisexual men

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The FDA relaxed much of the long-standing ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to the New York Times.

Gay and bisexual men – however only those in monogamous relationships – can now donate blood in the US without ignoring gender.

FDA ends ban on blood donations from gay, bisexual men, but some restrictions remain

Instead – the FDA will now require all donors to share details of their recent sexual history in a form, the Times reports. That is regardless of sexual orientation, gender or gender.

Among these questions will be whether a person has had anal sex in the last three months and whether they have had sex with new partners or multiple partners in that same period.

However, several prohibitions will still be in place for those with new or multiple sexual partners or those who have participated in anal sex within the last three months. The ban also extends to the prescribed oral PrEP to prevent HIV.

At the same time, shortages in blood supply and new donations have forced the FDA to review its guidelines, which are considered discriminatory by critics.

FDA’s latest move to expand donor availability after COVID-19 pandemic donation decline

Blood donations declined during and after the pandemic as there were fewer blood drives at schools and offices.

The FDA said the new changes to the screening policy are still in line with regulations in the UK and Canada.

This is the latest move by the FDA to expand donor eligibility and increase donations. The move also comes amid widespread pressure from LGBTQ groups, who say the ban is discriminatory.

Meanwhile, those who have tested positive for HIV are still unable to donate blood. Those taking medication to prevent HIV through sexual contact will remain banned until three months after their last dose.

The federal agency reports that some HIV medications (PrEP) can often delay the detection of the virus in screening tests.

History of blood donation restrictions for gay, bisexual men, current screening questions

Any blood donor must answer questions regarding their sexual history, drug use (injection drugs), new tattoos, and new piercings.

The blood is then tested for HIV, hepatitis C, syphilis, and other infectious diseases before it is eligible for donation, according to the Times.

This is just the latest step for the FDA to get hold of more new social over the past several years.

In 2015, the FDA allowed a lifetime ban on men who have sex with men before requiring one year of abstinence, each NPR.

A few years later, the federal agency cut the abstinence period from 12 months to three months.

Falling donations during the COVID-19 pandemic spurred the move to shorten abstinence periods.

Years later, regulators said there are still no negative effects on the blood supply due to coronavirus.

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