The federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee On Blood Safety and Availability (ACBSA) voted 9 to 6 on June 11th to make no change in the current deferral policy
banning men who have sex with another man, even once, since 1977 from ever donating blood. The Committee in addition proposed a research agenda of studies to be undertaken, both to shed further light on reviews of the several deferral bans, and to undergird these and other efforts to increase the safety of the blood supply. more.
For example, the ACBSA focused on the risks of unknown pathogens, the need for more data regarding high HIV transmission rates, and improving earlier awareness of emergent pathogens. COTT thanks Dr. Holmberg, Secretary of the Committee and Acting Chair for this meeting, for a well run and productive meeting inclusive of a wide range of perspectives, including the end users. We would also like to thank our friends at Gay Mens Health Crisis and commend them for a job well done before the ACBSA.
Originally published on 06-09-2010