The Food and Drug Administration, under pressure from Democrats in Congress, started official reconsideration on Tuesday of its policy limiting blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
The FDA began seeking comments on a potential change to its policy, which forbids donations from men who have had sex with other men within the past year.
This guideline was softened last year after years of protest.
The ban was originally put in place with the intention of limiting the risk of getting the AIDS virus in blood, but infuriated activists say it’s unfair and discriminatory.
The issue came to greater prominence after a June shooting killed 49 people at an Orlando, Florida, club favored by the LGBT community in June.
LGBT groups complained that many friends and loved ones couldn’t give their blood because of the restrictions.
The first step in considering a change is opening the issue to public input. It’s in the Federal Register under the title “Blood Donor Deferral Policy for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for Comments.”
“Specifically, the FDA is inviting comments on the feasibility of moving from the existing time-based deferrals related to risk behaviors to alternate deferral options, such as the use of individual risk assessment,” the FDA said.
In other words, does it make sense to just ban people for a year after having had sex?
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SOURCE: NBC News – Maggie Fox