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Advisory Committees Recommend Change to Ban on MSM Blood Donation

On November 13, 2014, the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA) voted 16 to 2 to recommend to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the agency change the ban on MSM donating blood to a one-year deferral.

On December 2, the FDA’s Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC) met to discuss the ACBTSA recommendations. No timeline for the FDA’s potential action to change the policy has been made public.

GLMA presented comments and provided a policy letter to both advisory committees supporting the elimination of the 31-year old FDA policy banning any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from donating blood and replacing it with a substantially less than one year deferral period aimed at addressing specific at-risk sexual behaviors regardless of sexual orientation or gender.

Movement now to change the decades-old policy to a one-year deferral opens the door and lays a foundation for GLMA and our sister organization’s to achieve our ultimate goal: A paradigm shift away from categorically restricting MSM from donating blood, replaced with a policy addressing specific at-risk sexual behaviors regardless of sexual orientation or gender.

Click here to read the comments presented to ACBTSA and here to see the webcast of Joad’s comments (select the chapter Open Public Hearing Section at time marker 4:37:45).).

Click here to read the letter submitted to BPAC.

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