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FDA Pressured to Ease Restrictions On Homosexual Males Donating Blood Amid Scarcity

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FDA Pressured to Ease Restrictions On Homosexual Males Donating Blood Amid Scarcity


The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration is dealing with ramped-up strain to scrap its harsh limits on blood donations from homosexual and bisexual males amid a dire shortage at blood banks.

Calls for from lawmakers and LGBTQ+ teams come days after the Crimson Cross introduced that it’s dealing with “its worst blood shortage in over a decade,” forcing hospitals to delay important blood transfusions for sufferers. America’s Blood Facilities and the AABB ― two different main blood donation collectors ― have raised the alarm as effectively.

These teams are urgently encouraging everybody who can to donate blood, however the FDA has lengthy made it unrealistic for males who’ve intercourse with different males to take action. At the moment, the company permits them solely to donate three months after their final sexual contact, which was decreased initially of the COVID-19 pandemic from a one-year deferral.

“Because the medical group continues to precise urgency for People to donate blood, there may be nonetheless a discriminatory and pointless FDA coverage in place that hinders wholesome homosexual and bisexual males, in addition to different LGBTQ individuals, from doing so, a lot of whom are keen and desirous to donate blood throughout this well being disaster,” GLAAD’s chief communications officer, Wealthy Ferraro, informed HuffPost on Friday.

“By counting on stigma moderately than science, the FDA isn’t just harming members of the LGBTQ group, however all People”

– GLAAD Chief Communications Officer Wealthy Ferraro

The FDA first started proscribing such blood donations in 1983, initially of the HIV/AIDS disaster, when little was identified concerning the illness besides that it was prevalent amongst homosexual males. Sustaining that ban at the moment is flawed and impractical, advocates say, particularly since all blood donations, no matter a donor’s sexual orientation, are screened to make sure wholesome samples.

“By counting on stigma moderately than science, the FDA isn’t just harming members of the LGBTQ group, however all People,” Ferraro stated.

On Thursday, 22 U.S. senators echoed that demand in mild of the blood scarcity, which the Crimson Cross says has dwindled from a typical five-day provide of blood to lower than a one-day reserve.

“Whereas no single resolution can totally clear up these challenges, the FDA has the power to take a easy and science-based step to dramatically enhance the donor base and assist deal with this disaster,” they wrote to the FDA and the Division of Well being and Human Companies.

“Given advances in blood screening and security expertise, a time-based coverage for homosexual and bisexual males will not be scientifically sound, continues to successfully exclude a complete group of individuals, and doesn’t meet the pressing calls for of the second,” the letter stated.

The Human Rights Campaign and outstanding medical experts have additionally spoken out this week in assist of the FDA lifting its ban.

A 2014 study from the Williams Institute on the College of California, Los Angeles, discovered that eradicating the ban could enhance the whole annual blood provide by 2% to 4% a yr.

That would make a dent within the present scarcity. All through the pandemic, the Crimson Cross says it has skilled a ten% decline within the variety of individuals donating blood, and it’s gotten worse throughout the surges related to the delta and omicron variants. It helps lifting the ban.





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