On 21 December, the Office of the food and drug administration (FDA) formally lifted 30-year ban on the collection of blood from donors gay and bisexual men, Reuters reports.
However, according to the decision of the FDA, gay men can donate blood only after 12 months from the last sexual contact with another man. The same restriction applies in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Representatives of the LGBT community have condemned this restriction and stated that the law on blood donation remains discriminatory.
«It’s ridiculous and harmful that gay married couples cannot be the donor, but the straight man who over the past year could be hundreds of sexual partners, maybe,» said Congressman Jared Polis.
According to the decision of the FDA from 1977, any man who had sex with another man, has no right to donate blood, as, according to official figures, homosexuals and bisexuals are at increased risk of HIV hepatitis b and other infections that can be transmitted through blood. Representatives of the LGBT community in the U.S. has long tried to affect an existing rule, arguing that the restrictions are rooted homophobia, and not modern science.
All donated blood is thoroughly tested for HIV and other viruses, however, during the first two weeks after infection, the virus may escape detection, leading to false test results.