Report: F.D.A. Partially Lifting Gay Blood Donor Ban

The New York Times is reporting that the F.D.A. will lift the ban that prohibits all gay men from donating blood; according to the new policy, only men who have had sex with other men in the last 12 months will not be able to donate. Lifting the current ban will add an estimated 317,000 pints of blood to America’s blood supply.

According to the report, “The F.D.A. enacted the ban in 1983, early in the AIDS epidemic. At the time, little was known about the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes the disease, and there was no quick test to determine whether somebody had it. But science — and the understanding of H.I.V. in particular — has advanced in the intervening decades, and on Tuesday the F.D.A. acknowledged as much, lifting the lifetime ban but keeping in place a more modest block on donations by men who have had sex with other men in the last 12 months.”

The agency, which is said to issue a draft detailing the change in early 2015, said it had “carefully examined and considered the scientific evidence.”

Experts believe that if the ban was completely lifted and all gay men could donate, the 317,000 pints of newly-donated blood would double.