FDA Ends Ban on Gay Male Blood Donations

Lucy Nicholson/REUTERS

The Food and Drug Administration has lifted its formal ban on blood donations from gay men. The new policy requires donors to have abstained from sex for one year before the blood draw. The ban was initially enacted in 1983, during the medical community’s panic early in the AIDS epidemic. Officials claimed then there “was no quick test to determine whether somebody had it,” causing the complete ban on blood from gay men. In December 2014, the FDA acknowledged the issue and promised to lift the lifetime ban. In May, the agency drafted guidelines for issuing the new policy.