HHS committee votes to retain ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men

Posted on 11 Jun 2010 at 3:35pm

We published this story in today’s issue of Dallas Voice about hearings under way — in the Department of Health and Human Services Committee’s Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability — to consider revising current policy banning blood donations by any man who has had sex with another man since 1977.

Well, the hearings ended this afternoon with a 9-6 vote not to recommend any changes, despite the fact that the scientific and medical communities — and major blood banks — recommended that the policy be changed to prohibit donations only from men who had had sex with another man within the last year, according to Towleroad.com.

Apparently men who have had sex with female hookers and men and women who have had sex with an HIV-positive partner (even unsafe sex) can still donate, as long as they wait a year after.

That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?!

(Makes you kind of think that maybe these folks on the HHS committee are more concerned about people catching gay than they are about people catching AIDS.)

The Human Rights Campaign has issued a statement expressing disappointment in the vote and adding this info: “The Committee did acknowledge, however, that the current policy is imperfect and recommended additional research to support a policy that would allow low-risk gay and bisexual men to donate.  The Committee’s recommendations will now be considered by the Assistant Secretary for Health.”

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