Health and Human Services Considers Lifting Archaic Gay Men Blood Ban
One of the most ridiculously discriminatory medical practices in all the world may finally be coming to an end. Men who have had sex with men have been banned from donating blood under order of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (of all things) since 1983.
But after heightened scrutiny in the wake of same-sex marriage laws and further equality across the country, cracks are beginning to appear in the previously rock-solid rule.
“[T]he increased effectiveness of donor testing for [Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)], [Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)], syphilis and other infectious agents has greatly enhanced blood safety,” the department states in the notice, which will be published in the Federal Register Tuesday.
“As a result, questions have been raised about the need to continue an indefinite deferral of all MSM and whether there could be blood donation by MSM who may not be at increased risk.”
Study after study shows that gay men are not the most numerous carriers of the HIV virus in the world. Advancements in blood screening technologies have now made it possible to almost instantly detect whether or not a potential donor is infected with an sort of communicable disease.
The gay men blood ban is increasingly accused of being a matter of homophobia and ignorance, to which we say, “DUH.” Defenders of the archaic rule claim gay men are at a higher risk of becoming infected with then and spreading sexually transmitted diseases from the future that literally do no exist yet.
Seriously. That is the reasoning behind the ban.
The study on expanding donor criteria to include gay men will begin with an open comment period lasting for the next three months. Stay tuned.
(via The Hill)