Monday, December 21, 2015

FDA Allows Gay & Bi Men to Donate Blood Again -- Assuming That They Have Been Sexually Celibate for One Year

I was watching KGAN this evening and came across some great news(!!) -- which unfortunately missed some vital information. KGAN reported that the Food and Drug Administration is dropping its lifetime ban on blood donations from man who have had sex with other men.

What KGAN failed to report on television (though they did write about it on the station's webpage) is that gay men are still banned from donating blood once they have refrained from gay sex for at least one year.

I'm a married and monogamous gay man. I am drug- and disease-free. But I'm still prevented from donating blood to the Red Cross or other centers. It makes no sense to me.

This used to piss me off a lot. Now it only vaguely annoys me.

Largely because it's based on verbal screening and honesty on my part. I mean, the FDA will take my word that I have never had sex with another man (which is a lie). They will now take my word that I've been celibate for at least one year (which is a lie). But they won't take my word that I am sexually monogamous and generally aware of my HIV status.

Also, why don't they actually break down "men who have had sex with men" a bit more specifically in order to more correctly assess risk? Besides monogamy, there are specific sex acts that men engage in that are largely risk-free. But they don't screen for risky vs. less risky vs. virtually risk-free sexual behaviors when you donate blood, do they?

This change goes into effect immediately, though it might take a while before it is fully implemented.

No comments: