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  • Policy Statement on Donor Screening Guidelines for Blood Donation

    HIVMA strongly supports the development of public policies based on science. It is for this reason that we believe the criteria used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to exclude potential blood donors should be revised to reflect the reliability of current blood testing technology and scientific knowledge regarding HIV transmission.

    The accuracy and reliability of the NAT coupled with the fact that the HIV virus is transmitted through behaviors and not by sexual orientation[2] call for significant revisions to the current donor screening guidelines. It is discriminatory and unnecessaryto continue to exclude any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from donating blood. Furthermore, the wholesale exclusion of anyone who has ever used a needle to take drugs or steroids is similarly problematic.

    HIVMA recommends that the blood donor screening procedures be revised to ask all potential donors to exclude themselves if they have tested positive for HIV, engaged in unprotected sex with a partner of unknown HIV status or if they have recently used a syringe not prescribed by a physician to take drugs or steroids. To err on the side of caution, the period of risky activity might be defined as the previous six months.

    Read the full statement  PDF

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