FDA Proposes to Ease Restrictions on Homosexual and Bisexual Males Donating Blood


On Friday, the FDA proposed new pointers that will take away the restriction that homosexual and bisexual males in monogamous relationships abstain from intercourse earlier than donating blood.

Below the brand new proposed pointers, time-based deferrals for males who’ve intercourse with males (MSM) and ladies who’ve intercourse with MSM could be eradicated.

“The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration right this moment introduced it’s proposing a change from time-based deferrals to assessing blood donor eligibility utilizing gender-inclusive, particular person risk-based questions to cut back the danger of transfusion-transmitted HIV,” the company mentioned in an announcement Friday. “This proposal is consistent with insurance policies in place in international locations like the UK and Canada.”

“These draft suggestions are based mostly on the FDA’s cautious evaluate of accessible info, together with information from different international locations with comparable HIV epidemiology which have instituted this strategy, in addition to ongoing surveillance of the U.S. blood provide. Based mostly on the out there information, the company believes the implementation of the proposed particular person risk-based questions is not going to compromise the security or availability of the blood provide,” the company continued.

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Throughout the AIDS disaster within the 1980s, the FDA banned males who had intercourse with different males from ever donating blood once more. In 2015, the company eased the rule, making it potential for homosexual and bisexual males to donate blood if that they had not engaged in sexual exercise in the course of the earlier yr, in response to CNBC.

On account of a scarcity of blood donors in the course of the Covid pandemic, the FDA additional eased restrictions in April 2020, permitting homosexual and bisexual people who had not engaged in sexual exercise throughout the previous three months to donate blood.

“Whether or not it’s for somebody concerned in a automotive accident, or for a person with a life-threatening sickness, blood donations save lives daily,” mentioned FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D.

“Sustaining a secure and enough provide of blood and blood merchandise within the U.S. is paramount for the FDA, and this proposal for a person danger evaluation, no matter gender or sexual orientation, will allow us to proceed utilizing the most effective science to take action,” he added.

“Our strategy to this work has at all times been, and can proceed to be, based mostly on the most effective out there science and information. Over time, this data-driven course of has enabled us to revise our insurance policies thereby rising these eligible to donate blood whereas sustaining applicable safeguards to guard recipients,” mentioned Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Middle for Biologics Analysis and Analysis.

“We’ll proceed to observe the most effective out there scientific proof to keep up an enough provide of blood and reduce the danger of transmitting infectious illnesses and are dedicated to finalizing this draft steerage as rapidly as potential,” he continued.

Under is the brand new proposed steerage:

  • The time-based deferrals for males who’ve intercourse with males (MSM) and ladies who’ve intercourse with MSM could be eradicated.
  • The present donor historical past questionnaire could be revised to ask all potential donors about new or a number of sexual companions prior to now three months.
  • Potential donors who report having a brand new sexual accomplice, or multiple sexual accomplice prior to now three months, would then be requested a couple of historical past of anal intercourse prior to now three months.
  • All potential donors who report having a brand new sexual accomplice or multiple sexual accomplice and had anal intercourse prior to now three months could be deferred from donation.
  • Below this proposal, a potential donor who doesn’t report having new or a number of sexual companions, and anal intercourse prior to now three months, could also be eligible to donate, supplied all different eligibility standards are met.

Different issues within the steerage embody:

  • No change within the donor deferral time intervals for different HIV danger components, together with for people who’ve exchanged intercourse for cash or medication or have a historical past of non-prescription injection drug use.
  • Any particular person who has ever had a constructive check for HIV or who has taken any remedy to deal with HIV an infection would proceed to be deferred completely.
  • Blood institutions would nonetheless be required to check all blood donations for proof of sure transfusion-transmitted infections, together with HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Proposed steerage associated to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP):

  • These taking oral medicines to stop HIV an infection reminiscent of PrEP or PEP could be deferred for 3 months from their most up-to-date dose.
  • These taking injectable PrEP to stop HIV an infection could be deferred for 2 years from their most up-to-date injection.
  • Some blood institutions at the moment have deferral insurance policies associated to using medicines to stop HIV infections.
  • The out there information reveal that using PrEP and PEP might delay detection of HIV by licensed screening assessments for blood donations, probably leading to false destructive outcomes.

The FDA will permit for 60 days of public touch upon the proposal.

“The company will then evaluate and take into account all feedback earlier than finalizing this steerage, which might then be applied by the nation’s blood assortment institutions by an up to date donor historical past questionnaire,” the company mentioned.

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