Lifting blood ban could add 200K pints yearly
An LGBT think tank says that ending the blanket ban on blood donations from gay men will not only end a discriminatory practice, it will help to shore up the nation’s blood supply, and could save lives.
Under current policy, any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 cannot donate blood.
In a research brief released Thursday, UCLA’s Williams Institute says if the FDA were to lift that ban, they could add nearly 220-thousand pints of blood to the supply. Author Gary Gates says that’s an increase of about one-and-a-half percent.
Gates: “We know there are chronic shortages of blood, and it may be somewhat modest, but it will improve those shortages.”
Gates said the discriminatory nature of the blood ban should be the primary concern, but that the added benefit of lifting the ban needs to be a part of the conversation.
The department of Health and Human Services has scheduled a hearing on the blood ban for next week.