Howard Brown Health Issues Statement on FDA Blood Donation Guidelines Change

Today, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a change in its guidelines for blood donations, revising a lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) to a one-year ban. The guidelines would allow MSM to donate if they have abstained from sexual activity for one full year. In response, Dr. Magda Houlberg, Chief Clinical Officer for Howard Brown Health, issued the following statement:

“Changing the blood donation policy for men who have sex with men (MSM) from a lifetime ban to a one-year ban only continues a discriminatory practice that is out of step with modern medicine and what we know about HIV transmission. If the FDA’s intent is to keep the nation’s blood supply safe, then it should consider an individual’s behaviors and risk factors, rather than an individual’s identity. The new guidelines ignore years of science and medical research about HIV and unjustly exclude gay and bisexual men from donating blood. The FDA should adopt guidelines that increase the nation’s blood supply, rather than diminish the potential available blood for people who desperately need it.”

Read the FDA’s announcement about changing guidelines for blood donations here.


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