Dispatch: FDA s Bad Blood

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The public policy director for Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York has a letter to the editor in The New York Times about an FDA rule prohibiting any man who has had sex with another man, even once, since 1977, from donating blood: “Advancements in technology, which can detect H.I.V. in blood within days or weeks of infection, render this policy obsolete. The unnecessary exclusion of large numbers of H.I.V.-negative blood donors may harm people in need of blood transfusions. A thorough review of alternative policies is both timely and necessary.”

“I wrote essentially the same thing two years ago for The Huffington Post,” says Stier. “If there really is such a critical shortage of blood like there always seems to be, you would think they would allow these donors to give, especially since there are such effective screening procedures these days.”