The nation’s three-decade-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men was formally lifted Monday, but major restrictions will continue to limit who can give blood.
The Food and Drug Administration said it is replacing the lifetime ban with a new policy barring donations from men who have had sex with a man in the previous year. While the one-year ban has been criticized by activists it matches policies in other countries, including Australia, Japan and the U.K.
Gay rights activists said the new policy is a “step in the right direction,” but falls short.
“It continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men,” said David Stacy, of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. gay rights group. “It simply cannot be justified in light of current scientific research and updated blood screening technology.”
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