FDA re-reviewing the gay blood ban

Last December the U.S. Food and Drug Administration overturned a 30-year ban on all blood donations from men who have sex with men, saying the change was based on science showing an indefinite ban was not necessary to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus.

Now the FDA has signalled it is reviewing its blood donor deferral recommendations. They currently prohibit donations from gay men for a year following their last sexual encounter in order to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Many other countries follow the same rule.

One of the proposals is Individual risk assessments, which could consider whether an individual has been in a monogamous relationship.

The FDA has invited interested parties and persons to submit comments, backed by scientific evidence, supporting alternative potential policies, to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.