California Proposal Would Lift FDA Ban on Blood Donations From MSM
California Assembly member Tom Ammiano (D) has proposed a resolution (AJR 13) to lift an FDA ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men, Capitol Weekly reports. Ammiano said the ban "assumes if you are heterosexual that you would not have the same exposure" to HIV as MSM. He added that the ban still exists because of the slow bureaucratic process required to lift it. According to Capitol Weekly, the resolution would address MSM and not injection drug users, who are restricted from donating blood after using injection drugs one time.
The American Red Cross, the American Association for Blood Banks and America's Blood Centers have urged FDA to lift the ban, according to Capitol Weekly. The Red Cross earlier this month reported that there was a 30% shortage in donations. According to Capitol Weekly, about 5% of the U.S. population, or 15 million people, donates blood annually (Chernyavsky, Capitol Weekly, 4/30).