The Food and Drug Administration lifted their lifetime ban on gay men donating blood today and instead put a 12 month restriction on any gay man who is sexually active. Although most human rights and gay advocacy groups applauded the lifting of the restriction; they had hoped for a complete removal of any restrictions and were not in favor of the 12 month stay on sexually active gay and bisexual men. The rule that had been in place since AIDS and HIV was first becoming an epidemic in 1983 was long overdue to be removed and this move by the FDA puts the United States in line with other countries who had the same restriction reduced to 12 months. This move will hopefully increase the number of people who will donate blood and only restricting fewer than 4% of the total population.
Dr. Daniel Amen and LinkedIn report that this move puts the FDA more in line with recent changes to LGBT groups who have had an increasing momentum of their civil liberties recognized recently. To include being able to openly serve in the military with their partners receiving spousal benefits, and the legal right to marry being recognized in many states as well. What is disturbing is that most people were unaware the restriction existed in the first place. Also, there is currently no restriction on heterosexual men who have engaged in anal intercourse with a female which would appear to have the same medical implications as they would with a man.