F.D.A. Ends Ban, Allowing Some Blood Donations by Gay Men


Donors giving blood in Rutland, Vt.

Toby Talbot/Associated Press

Following up on a preliminary recommendation it made a year ago, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday that the agency would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men.

The agency said it would continue to bar men who have had sex with men in the past year, however, noting that the measure was needed to keep the blood supply safe.

Gay rights groups considered the lifting of the lifetime ban a major stride toward ending a discriminatory national policy, but had wanted blanket bans for gay men to be removed entirely. Donations should be considered on an individual basis, critics said, as some men are at far higher risk of H.I.V. infection than others.

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