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Comments to HHS on Blood Donation Policies

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked for public input on a forthcoming report to Congress regarding strategies for ensuring an adequate blood supply during public health emergencies. Our comments recommended that the report endorse elimination of the Food and Drug Administration’s deferral policy for donations from men who have sex with men. The policy, which bars gay and bisexual men from donating blood for three months from the date of their last sexual contact, relies on outdated science regarding HIV transmission risk, stigmatizes gay and bisexual men, and increases the likelihood of blood shortages.