Today U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released final guidance that lifts the lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men (MSM) and implements a new policy requiring a year of abstinence prior to donating blood:
“I am encouraged that the FDA swiftly finalized this guidance to move forward and revise the discriminatory lifetime ban on blood donations. However, this is just the first step toward ending an outdated policy that is medically and scientifically unwarranted. This revision doesn’t go far enough – and I expect the FDA to maintain its commitment to work with stakeholders to develop better blood donor policies based on science. I will continue to push the Administration to move forward to achieve our ultimate goal of blood donation policies that are based on individual risk factors, that don’t unfairly single out one group of individuals, and that allow all healthy Americans to donate.”
In December 2014, Senator Baldwin led over 75 Members of Congress in calling on HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to end the outdated and discriminatory ban, and replace it by instituting a risk-based policy.