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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 Blood donation policy changes? - powered by KVII

Blood donation policy changes? - powered by KVII

By Nastassia Tamari
Thursday, March 04, 2010 at 9:30 p.m.

Read more: Local, State, National, Politics, Health, Community, Food and Drug Administration, FDA, Blood Donation, Blood Donation Policy Gay Men, Blood Donation Policy Sexual Orientation

Eighteen US Senators want to change the policy of a lifetime ban on donating blood for any man who has had sex with another man.

The lawmakers stressed the science has changed dramatically since the ban was established at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Today, donated blood goes through many screenings. "Other high risk deferral are only a year.

. so it seems discriminatory if you make the MSM deferral permanent, while other high risk deferrals are 12 months. so they're advocating a review of the deferral, making it on par with other high risk deferrals," said Dr. Mary Townsend, the Coffee Memorial Blood Center Medical Director.

Cyndy Walton, the President of Outstanding Amarillo, said, "It seems to me that they're finally realizing, that HIV/AIDS are not a gay disease, that they have spread far beyond the perimeters that would encompass just gay men and gay women for that matter, and are in the community at large."

The Food and Drug Administration said the deferral policy is based on current science and does not weigh sexual orientation.  The ban does not apply to women who have sex with other women.

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