Thursday, 25 December 2014

FDA to Lift Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood: IMA to come out with Indian guideline

The US Food and Drug Administration has decided to formally propose lifting a 31-year-old ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men, allowing them to give blood provided they have not had sex with other men during the previous year.

FDA instituted its ban in the early days of the AIDS epidemic on the basis of fears of HIV entering the blood supply.

An advisory committee of the Department of Health and Human Services in November recommended a blood donation deferral of 1 year after sexual activity, pointing to studies that show the practice to be safe.

As per the new policy Individuals cannot donate blood within a year of having sex with a prostitute or an intravenous drug user'

According to one recent study, allowing MSM to donate blood 12 months after their last sexual episode could add as many as 317,000 pints to the nation's supply each year.

The United Kingdom permits MSM to donate blood after a year of celibacy, and Canada allows it after the 5-year mark.

Indian Medical Association has called a meeting of experts to decide about the Indian Guidelines.

[The Author is Padma Shri Awardee, Honorary Secretary General Elect IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India]

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