Under mounting pressures from politicans Federal health officials announced Friday that they would reexamine a 27-year-old set of restrictions on blood donations by gay men.
The restrictions, enacted in the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, impose a lifetime ban on men donating blood if they’ve had sex with another man at any time since 1977.
Gay rights groups also have pushed for a change in the donor policy, arguing that it stigmatizes gay men and does not adequately address threats to blood safety posed by high-risk heterosexual behaviors and the American Red Cross, the American Assn. of Blood Banks and America’s Blood Centers, which collectively represent almost all blood banks in the country, have recommended loosening the restrictions to allow men who have abstained from gay sex for one year to donate blood.
Of course though, the FDA also re-examined the AIDS-crazed policy in 2006 … and did nothing.