FDA releases plan to ease restrictions on gay blood donation

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration is outlining its plan to end the nation’s lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a 32-year-old policy that many medical groups and gay activists say is no longer justified.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday released proposed guidelines for screening blood donors at increased risk of carrying HIV. Under the proposal, the current blanket ban on donations from gay men would be replaced with a policy barring donations from men who have had gay sex in the last year. The Obama administration previously announced the policy shift in December.

If finalized, the new policy would put the U.S. in line with other countries that enforce a one-year deferral period for gay men, including Australia, Japan and the U.K.

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