Currently the FDA bans these individuals from donating blood due to concerns of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Testing methods have improved since the FDA first created its policy, including methods of testing that will yield positive results within seven days after infection. Additionally, all donated blood is tested for blood-borne pathogens, including HIV.
"While the FDA's policy banning men who have had sex with other men from donating blood made sense when testing was not available for HIV, that isn't the case today," says Tyler C. Cymet, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician. "With the screening of all blood for infectious diseases, there is almost no risk of getting HIV from a blood transfusion. Therefore, it makes sense to provide these potential donors the opportunity to donate blood."
Last month the American Medical Association also voted to recommend that the FDA lift its ban and allow men who have sex with men to donate blood.
About the House of Delegates The AOA's House of Delegates, comprised of more than 500 delegates representing osteopathic state medical associations, specialty societies, interns, residents and students from throughout the country, meets annually in July to set organizational policies and elect new officers.
About the American Osteopathic Association The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.