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FDA Reduces Restrictions On Gay Male Blood Donors, Continues Stigmatization

Via NBC News:

Amid what it’s calling an “urgent need for blood,” the FDA revised its blood donor guidelines on Thursday, significantly easing the restrictions on men who have sex with men.

The new guidelines reduce the donation deferral period for sexually active gay and bisexual men from 12 months to three, meaning these otherwise healthy men will now have to abstain from same-sex sexual activity for 90 days before they are eligible to donate blood.

Other 12-month deferral periods have also been shortened under the new guidelines, including those for people who have traveled to areas with certain endemic diseases, those who have engaged in injection drug use and people who have participated in commercial sex work.

Under a regulation change in 2015, gay and bisexual had to refrain from sex for a year before they are permitted to donate blood.  This replaced a former 1983 ruling that stated gay and bisexual men could not donate at all which was leftover from the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when little was known about the disease or how to test for it.

The continued stigmatization of gay male blood donors in the 21st century is uncalled for and needlessly cruel especially since in this terrible time since all blood donations are screened for tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis, and HTLV (human T-lymphotropic virus), which can cause a blood or nerve disease.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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