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New pressure to ease donor rules for gay men amid US blood shortages

(HealthDay)-The three-month sexual abstinence rule for blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men should be withdrawn by the US Food and Drug Administration. Critics are clamoring for the country to suffer from blood shortages.

Currently, men who have sex with men should refrain from having sex with other men for 90 days before they can qualify for blood donation, as there is a small chance of getting HIV. This is a rule that is considered discriminatory by supporters and an unnecessary obstacle to blood donation by many in the medical community. NBC News report.

In April 2020, the FDA reduced the abstinence requirement from 12 months to 3 months. This was done at the request of legislators and supporters in the face of a pandemic blood shortage.

This week the Red Cross caused this problem again announcement The surge in COVID-19 cases caused “the worst blood shortage in more than 10 years.”

As a result, LGBTQ supporters and about 20 lawmakers have asked the FDA to withdraw the abstinence requirement.

“The policy of continuing to choose the LGBTQ + community is discriminatory and wrong. Given the advances in blood screening and safety technology, time-based policies for gay and bisexual men are not scientifically sound and people’s. We continue to effectively eliminate the entire group, and we are not meeting our urgent needs. ” letter Acting for US Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Becerra and FDA Dr. Janet Woodcock.

Richard Benjamin, a former Chief Medical Officer of the American Red Cross and now Chief Medical Officer of the biomedical product company Cerus Corp., said the three-month waiting period was meaningless, based on the science of HIV testing. Insisted.

“If you’re infected with HIV, the test will be negative for the first 1-2 weeks, so there’s scientific evidence that” if you’re at risk, you need a delay, “Benjamin said. rice field. NBC News.. “But it’s about 10 days, not 3 months.”

One of the LGBTQ supporters has stated that hesitating to break the rule is discriminatory.

“This is the FDA’s own creation crisis,” said Jay Franzone. NBC News.. “They can change policies, even temporarily, and they can do so today. The only thing that stops them is prejudice and fear.”

This is not the first time authorities have been asked to change the rules.Major medical groups such as the Red Cross and the American Medical Association have previously Prompted The FDA will lift the ban on donations to men who have sex with men.

If that happens, the US annual blood supply will increase by 2% to 4% and 345,400 to 615,300 pints, according to the University of California, Los Angeles think tank Williams Institute. NBC News report.

According to the Red Cross, blood donations have decreased by 10% since the beginning of the pandemic.


U.S. relaxes blood donation restrictions for gay men due to shortage


For more information:
NBC news article

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New pressure to ease donor rules for gay men amid US blood shortages

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