In a major development, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday announced removal of ban on the gay or homosexual community from donating blood.
The federal health body allowed the blood donation by gay men one year after their last sexual contact.
The approval was given in response to a proposal, which will be introduced early 2015, aiming at ending a ban applied since 1983 on these communities from blood donation.
Shedding all the fears of health risks, the FDA said that the scientific evidence strongly suggests that the move will not create any danger for the blood supply nationwide.
Releasing a statement, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said, “The FDA has carefully examined and considered the available scientific evidence relevant to its blood donor deferral policy for men who have sex with men, including the results of several recently completed scientific studies and recent epidemiologic data.”
With the change in policy, the health experts are expecting a boost in the supply of donated blood by thousands of pints a year.
The government has banned the gay men from blood donations since the discovery that deadly HIV and AIDS can be caused through blood transfusions.
The decision is the alignment of the policy for gays with that for other women and men who are at higher risk for HIV infection, the FDA said.
The federal agency was under severe pressure from medical groups and advocates for lifting of ban. Therefore, it had called advisory committee meetings this fall to look into the serious issue.
The FDA will be issuing a draft guidance on the policy likely early in 2015.