Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FDA finally proposes lifting gay male blood donation ban -- for men abstinent for a year; couples don't count

The FDA has announced that it will allow MSM to donate blood (and probably organs or other issue posthumously) but only after at least one year of abstinence. 
NBC News has the story here.   The text of the FDA announcement is here
The main people who would be able to donate are probably elderly gay men who may be abstinent in practice.  The move is said to increase the blood supply by 4%, but the restriction to long term abstinence will reduce the benefit.
Apparently couples who can affirm they are monogamous for a year and test negative still would not be able to give.
Culture has changed, as openness to even organ donations is much stronger than when I was a young man.  Back in the late 1970s, a bank in Dallas enclosed “become a superdonor” literature in bank statements, as blood banks tried increase plasma supplies.

Update: Dec. 24

Christmas Eve, WJLA in Washington DC showed a disabled young woman "giving back" at a blood donation center.  I still wondered about this idea of volunteerism in an area of life and common "sacrifice" where "we" still aren't fully welcome. Back in the 90s, it would be embarrassing to have to "just say no" to corporate blood drives, to stay away from the bloodmobile.

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