CHICAGO — The American Medical Association — the nation’s largest association of physicians — has officially backed a plan to lift the FDA lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men.
The blood ban was put in place in 1983 at the onset of the AIDS pandemic, but many HIV/AIDS experts now call the policy antiquated. According to ABC News the AMA will back a policy that mirrors those in other nations, which will allow gay men to donate blood if they’ve abstained from sex with other men for a period of time.
“The lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men is discriminatory and not based on sound science,” AMA board member Dr. William Kobler said in a statement. “This new policy urges a federal policy change to ensure blood donation bans or deferrals are applied to donors according to their individual level of risk and are not based on sexual orientation alone.”
The United Kingdom and Australia allow gay men who have been abstinent for at least one year to donate blood.