Monday, December 21, 2015

FDA officially loosens ban on MSM donating blood

As expected, the FDA has formally loosened the rule on blood donations from MSM (men who have sex with men), allowing donations from men who test negative on all standard antigen and antibody tests and who will affirm they have not had sex with other males within the past twelve months.

Beth Mole has a typical story on Ars Technica here today.  The FDA sounds open to narrowing the abstinence period in the future if warranted by data.  Vox has some more details on the science here, and quotes the Fenway Institute. In general, the science doesn't support a deferral period for more than two months.
The blunt practical result will be that elderly gay men not in relationships will often be able to give blood, since they usually aren’t sought as sexual partners.
Since I had my Medicare physical recently, I can certainly look into this.
It's an unpleasant observation, but in Russia the idea that there is a more obligation to make your blood available to others has been articulated, and it adds to the anti-gay attitudes of the population.

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