Tag Archives: FDA

FDA Relaxes Blood Donation Ban For Gay Men Again, STILL Stigmatizing To Some.

FDA Relaxes Blood Donation Ban For Gay Men Again, STILL Stigmatizing To Some.

Despite the fact that every drop of blood donated is tested for every disease including AIDS and other diseases the FDA has demonized and stigmatized gay men for decades.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced it had officially eliminated SOME restrictions that had previously prohibited many blood donations by gay and bisexual men from giving blood.

In a news release, the agency said it will recommend a series of “individual risk-based questions” that will be the same for every blood donor, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender or sex. Those who have had anal sex with a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner, within the last three months would be asked to wait to donate blood.

With the updated guidelines, most gay and bisexual men who are in a monogamous relationship with a man will no longer have to refrain from sex in order to donate blood. With the EXCEPTION of anyone taking HIV medications — including people who are HIV negative who are taking medications called PrEP to prevent infection.

The original blood donation ban, which was implemented in the 1980s during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, prohibits men who have had sex with other men (MSM) from donating blood for 12 months after their last sexual encounter. In 2020, the ban was revised to reduce the deferral period to three months.

In the past the American Medical Association, the American Red Cross, and numerous other health organizations have called for the ban to be lifted entirely, as it is not based on scientific evidence but the FDA has always ignored them

For decades the FDA policy perpetuated a harmful stereotypes that stigmatize and discriminated against gay and bisexual men. . It implied that all are inherently diseased and dangerous, and reinforced the hate of anti-gay activist and the notion that gay men were they less worthy of donating blood than their heterosexual counterparts.

Still not there yet.

Twenty-two Attorneys Generals Call For End of Discriminatory Gay Blood Ban.

Twenty-two Attorneys Generals Call For End of Discriminatory Gay Blood Ban.

Twenty-two Attorneys Generals from across the country, including Illinois’ Kwame Raoul, are calling for an end to the FDA’s blood donation policy they say stigmatizes the gay community.

The Attorneys General supports a proposed policy that would use a risk-based model for all donors.

The origins of this policy date back to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, when HIV was spreading rapidly among gay men. At the time, the medical community knew very little about the virus and how it was transmitted. As a result, many people were afraid of contracting HIV through blood transfusions, and the ban on gay men donating blood was seen as a way to prevent the spread of the disease.

Proponents of the policy argue that it is necessary to protect the blood supply and prevent the spread of HIV. However, many people, including LGBT activists and medical professionals, argue that the policy is discriminatory and outdated.

One major issue with the ban is that it effectively stereotypes all gay men as being at high risk for HIV, regardless of their actual behavior. Furthermore, the ban on gay men donating blood is also seen by many as a violation of their human rights. In many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, it is illegal to discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation. The ban on gay men donating blood is seen by many as a clear example of discrimination.

Over time the “Blood ban” policy has been partially lifted or modified to allow gay men who have been celibate for a certain period of time to donate blood. However, many people argue that these changes do not go far enough, and that the ban should be lifted completely.

Interestingly all blood donations are currently and have in the past been tested for a number of infectious diseases – including HIV.


History - March 19, 1987: The FDA Approves AZT for Treatment of AIDS

History – March 19, 1987: The FDA Approves AZT for the Treatment of AIDS

On March 19, 1987, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the antiretroviral drug zidovudine, commonly known as AZT, for the treatment of AIDS. This approval marked a significant milestone in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as AZT became the first drug approved to treat the disease.

AZT was first synthesized in the 1960s as a potential cancer treatment, but it was later found to have antiretroviral properties. In 1985, clinical trials were conducted on AZT to evaluate its effectiveness in treating AIDS, which was a rapidly growing epidemic at the time. The trials showed promising results, with AZT reducing the risk of death and disease progression in HIV-positive individuals.

After the trials, Burroughs Wellcome (now part of GlaxoSmithKline), the company that developed AZT, applied for FDA approval. The FDA granted accelerated approval, which allowed AZT to be made available to patients while further studies were conducted.

The approval of AZT was a turning point in the history of AIDS. Prior to AZT, there were no drugs available to treat the disease, and patients faced a bleak future with few treatment options. With AZT, patients had a ray of hope, as the drug could extend their lives and improve their quality of life.

However, AZT was not a cure for AIDS, and it had limitations. It was expensive, with a price tag of $10,000 per year, making it inaccessible to many patients. It also had significant side effects, including anemia, nausea, and headaches.

Despite these limitations, the approval of AZT was a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It paved the way for the development of other antiretroviral drugs, which have transformed AIDS from a death sentence to a manageable chronic condition. Today, HIV-positive individuals can live long, healthy lives with the help of antiretroviral therapy, thanks in large part to the approval of AZT on March 19, 1987.

Twenty-two Attorneys Generals Call For End of Discriminatory Gay Blood Ban.

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.

Gay Blood Ban Art Installation Near Chelsea Market In NYC Proves Powerful Point

Gay Blood Ban Art At Chelsea Market


Two dumpsters filled with fake blood bags has been set up near the Chelsea Market to raise awareness on the FDA’s outdated and stigmatizing gay blood ban against gay men.

“Gay men are still discriminated against, they’re not allowed to donate blood,” said Mike Devlin, Creative Director at FCB Health.

Devlin and FCB Health created this art installation in partnership with The Gay Men’s Health Crisis to raise awareness about the thousands of pints of blood he says are lost every year due to the gay blood ban.

For decades, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited men who have sex with other men from donating blood.

Last year health officials eased the ban — now gay men have to remain celibate for a full year before donating

“As the universal donor I’m O negative. I feel like my blood could have a lot of use, it’s a civil injustice to a large population that we’re unable to donate our blood,” said one man.

The donation issue made headlines again after the Orlando nightclub shooting — when dozens of gay friends of victims wanted to donate blood — but discovered they couldn’t.

And while the FDA said in the wake of the shooting that they “empathize” with those who want to donate, they said the scientific evidence was not available to support an alternative to the current deferral policy.

“Every pint of blood that gets donated is actually screened, everyone. Mine yours anyone who donates, so the fact that gay men are still barred from actually participating in something that is very much a human thing —to donate blood to friends and family — it doesn’t make sense,” added Mike Devlin.

Organizers behind this blood project hope this Installation creates an image for the public to see just how much blood is potentially lost.

“It’s a waste of a very important source I think, we could use much better, I don’t think there’s a reason to ban it,” said Yoev, another passerby.

Officials from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis say they’re continuing to push the FDA to accelerate their review of the ban so that everyone’s blood will be treated fairly.

Other countries without the ban have perfectly safe blood supplies. Italy, for example, replaced a similar ban fifteen years ago with an approach based on sexual practices. This “individual risk assessment” approach did not harm blood safety. In 2015 Argentina lifted its ban on blood donation from gay and bisexual men. Health Minister Daniel Gollán declared that the change is “scientifically and technically accurate” and based on a medical approach that replaces that old concept of ‘risk groups.’

FDA Changes Gay Blood Ban Rules. Gay Men Must Now Be Celibate One Year To Donate Blood

blood ban


The U.S. Food  and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that gay men will now be able to donate blood but only if they had not han a man on man sexual experience for one year.

The proposal will be introduced early next year to end a ban that has been in place since 1983.

Via Reuters:

Scientific evidence shows the move will not create risks for the nation’s blood supply, the FDA said. The policy change is expected to boost the supply of donated blood by hundreds of thousands of pints per year. Blood donations from gay men have been barred since the discovery that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was being transmitted through transfusions.

The FDA said it will issue draft guidance on the policy, hopefully early in 2015. It would then review the comments and issue final guidance “as quickly as possible,” Peter Marks, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said during a press briefing. An FDA advisory committee met this month to discuss issues around changing the policy, such as the effectiveness of new blood supply tests for HIV infections. In November, an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended a one-year deferral. The FDA stopped short of eliminating the ban for gay men altogether. Marks said during the briefing that scientific evidence for a ban shorter than a year was not “compelling.”

While still discriminatory Corey Dubin, a member of the FDA’s Blood Products Advisory Panel and founder of the hemophiliac advocacy group the Committee of Ten Thousand (COTT) the group represents hemppheliacs who have contracted HIV/AIDS through blood transfusions is against any lifting of the ban, no matter how incremental. “With the science so far, it’s a leap of faith, No matter how you stack it, there is a risk increase.” Dubin does not  have a medical background.

ACLU Legislative Representative, Ian Thompson countered:

“The FDA’s proposal must be seen as part of an ongoing process and not an end point. The reality for most gay and bisexual men — including those in committed, monogamous relationships — is that this proposal will continue to function as a de facto lifetime ban. Criteria for determining blood donor eligibility should be based on science, not outdated, discriminatory stereotypes and assumptions.” The FDA blood donation policy, which has been in place since 1983, prohibits any man who has had sex with another man, even one time, since 1977 from donating blood. The American Civil Liberties Union previously submitted comments urging the FDA to reassess its policy based on current scientific evidence.

The question still remains though who is going to  be the celibacy police?




Homo Sat What? – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Votes To Keep Ban On Gay Blood

The brillant minds on the advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has narrowly voted to KEEP the ban on blood donations from homosexual men. The vote was 7-6 to maintain the ban. Under the FDA’s rules, men cannot give blood if they have had sex with another man at least once since 1977.  They were considering changing the blood donation rule to ban only men who had had sex with another man within the past five years. The rule came into force originally in 1985 to protect the blood supply from HIV.

So the FDA will keep this discriminatory, stigmatizing and outdated rule while it allows other high risk groups such as prostitutes, intravenous drug users, and promiscuous heterosexuals have to wait only one year from their last high risk encounter.

So any whore who tricks with hundreds of diseased heterosexual men can give blood, but gay men, who have been tested and are monogamous, can’t.


Iceland anyone?

Food and Drug Administration To Re-Examine Gay Blood Ban

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.