Is the FDA's stance on letting gay men donate blood homophobic? | The Tylt

Is the FDA's stance on letting gay men donate blood homophobic?

Hospitals are asking survivors of COVID-19 to donate their blood to develop treatments for the disease but gay men are being turned away due to FDA regulations on blood donations. In response, the FDA eased its ban on gay men from donating blood, now allowing men who have abstained from having sex with other men for three months instead of one year—the previous standard. However, critics say that standard is unscientific and homophobic. It singles out a single category of people—gay men—and ignores the actual risk factors that apply to the situation. Instead, the FDA should change regulations to reflect the actual science instead of applying a blanket ban on gay men. Others say that the middle of a crisis is the wrong time to weaken regulations that protect the public. 

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Many are calling for the FDA to go further. The FDA's current ban is not based on science and singles out gay men in particular, contributing to the stigma against LGBT people. 

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This is not a theoretical issue. The ban is currently actively creating roadblocks to treating people with coronavirus. 

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The FDA places restrictions on a number of people based on their risk profiles for bloodborne diseases. In addition to men who have sex with other men, the FDA also places bans on overseas travelers to certain areas and those who may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. It's ultimately about keeping the blood supply safe—especially during a crisis like the coronavirus outbreak.

Here's the rationale from the FDA for maintaining these regulations:

We expect that the updated guidance and alternative procedures will help increase the number of donations moving forward, while helping to ensure adequate protections for donor health and maintaining a safe blood supply for patients.
We believe these updated recommendations will have a significant and positive impact on our blood supply. As noted above, the changes being announced to the HIV, vCJD and malaria guidances are being put forth for immediate implementation. The updated recommendations in these guidances are based on data and analysis that the FDA believes are applicable to circumstances outside of (and after) the COVID-19 pandemic and reflect the agency’s current thinking on this issue. These recommendations are expected to remain in place after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, with any appropriate changes based on comments we receive and our experience implementing the guidances.
#KeepFDARegulations
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Is the FDA's stance on letting gay men donate blood homophobic?
A festive crown for the winner
#LetGayMenDonateBlood
#KeepFDARegulations