wrote in the letter, released Thursday. We urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to quickly act on the best available science and update its outdated and discriminatory blood donor deferral policies for men who have sex with men (MSM), a long overdue step that would dramatically increase the eligible donor base.”The letter is addressed to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.In 1983, early in the AIDS crisis, the U.S.
barred men who have sex with men from ever donating blood in 1983. Since then, technology has been developed to screen blood for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.In 2015, the FDA began allowing gay and bi men to donate blood if they had abstained from sex for a year.
In 2020, the abstinence period was shortened to three months. But that’s still too long, Richard Benjamin, former chief medical officer at the American Red Cross, told NBC News.“If you are infected with HIV, for the first one to two weeks you will test negative.