U.S. Upholds Gay Blood Donor Ban

May 28th, 2007

Blood Bank

Despite a recommendation from the Red Cross, the FDA has refused to lift their ban on gay blood donors.

Like Canada, the United States permanently defers men who have had sex with another man from donating blood. The Red Cross called the ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted,” though the FDA contends a lift on the ban is not worth the risk of introducing HIV-infected blood into the supply.

Canadian Blood Services promised to review their policy this spring, where it’s hoped that the “gay deferral” will be replaced by one based on sexual behaviour rather than orientation. In Canada, the fastest-growing HIV demographic is young heterosexual women, which makes up a quarter of all HIV infections.