The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

(Reuters) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled on Monday that gay men can donate blood 12 months after their last sexual contact with another man, overturning a 30-year ban aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The agency said people with hemophilia and related blood clotting disorders will continue to be banned from donating blood due to potential harm they could suffer from large needles. Previously they were banned due to an increased risk of transmitting HIV.

The agency said it has worked with other government agencies and considered input from outside advisory bodies, and has “carefully examined the most recent available scientific evidence to support the current policy revision.”

The agency said it has also put in place a safety monitoring system for the blood supply which it expects to provide “critical information” to help inform future FDA blood donor policies.

“Ultimately, the 12-month deferral window is supported by the best available scientific evidence, at this point in time, relevant to the U.S. population,” Dr. Peter Marks, deputy director of the FDA’s biologics division, said in a statement.

Several countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, have 12-month deferrals.

During the change in Australia from an indefinite blood donor deferral policy, essentially a ban, to a 12-month deferral, studies evaluating more than 8 million units of donated blood were performed using a national blood surveillance system, the FDA said.

“These published studies document no change in risk to the blood supply with use of the 12-month deferral,” the agency said. “Similar data are not available for shorter deferral intervals.”

The agency said its policies to date have helped reduce HIV transmission rates from blood transfusions from 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 1.47 million.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio)

Photo: People line up to give blood at a mobile donation station set up following the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, United States, October 2, 2015. Chris Harper-Mercer, the man killed by police on Thursday after he fatally shot nine people at the southern Oregon community college was a shy, awkward 26-year-old fascinated with shootings, according to neighbors, a person who knew him, news reports and his own social media postings. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Rep. Devin Nunes

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California is retiring from Congress at the end of 2021 to work for former President Donald Trump.

Keep reading... Show less

From left Ethan Crumbley and his parents Jennifer and James Crumbley

Mug shot photos from Oakland County via Dallas Express

After the 2012 massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, then-Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, evaded calls for banning weapons of war. But he had other ideas. The "more realistic discussion," Rogers said, is "how do we target people with mental illness who use firearms?"

Tightening the gun laws would seem a lot easier and less intrusive than psychoanalyzing everyone with access to a weapon. But to address Rogers' point following the recent mass murder at a suburban Detroit high school, the question might be, "How do we with target the adults who hand powerful firearms to children with mental illness?"

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}