The Food and Drug Administration is outlining its plan to end the nation’s lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a 32-year-old policy that many medical groups and gay activists say is no longer justified.
The FDA on Tuesday released proposed guidelines for screening blood donors at increased risk of carrying HIV. Under the proposal, the current blanket ban on donations from gay men would be replaced with a policy barring donations from men who have had sex with another man in the last year. The Obama administration previously announced the policy shift in December.
If finalized, the new policy would put the U.S. in line with other countries that enforce a one-year deferral period on donations from sexually active gay men, including Australia, Japan and the U.K.
Gay activists, however, continued to question whether requiring a year of celibacy from gay men amounts to a significant policy shift.