Democratic Reps call on FDA to revise blood donation policy for gay men

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LGBTQ advocates and members of Congress are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to revise its blood donor policy on sexually active gay and bisexual men because of a blood shortage in the country.

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Why this matters: FDA Is necessary Gay and bisexual men abstain from same-sex activity for 90 days to donate blood.

Flashback: The FDA announced in 2020 that gay men, bisexual men, and their female partners can donate blood after a waiting period of three months instead of a period of 12 months.

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state of play: The American Red Cross announced on Tuesday National blood crisis for the first time Amidst the boom of the Omicron variant.

  • In letter to fda On Thursday, Reps Carolyn Maloney (D.N.Y.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.N.Y.), Jamie Ruskin (D-Md.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) said the FDA should reevaluate the policy so that “Every person who can safely donate blood in the United States has an opportunity to do so.”
  • human rights campaign Strongly encouraged federal officials to “lift unnecessary restrictions on blood donation by men who have sex with men.”
  • “The current policy is outdated, does not reflect the state of science, and continues to unfairly stigmatize a section of society,” Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.
  • If the FDA were to remove the 90-day policy, the annual blood supply would increase by 2 to 4% annually. Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA School of Law.

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