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GMHC Responds to FDA Request For Public Comment on MSM Blood Donor Deferral Policy

7.27.2016

 

 

GMHC

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
July 27, 2016
Contact: Danielle Filson |646-335-0443| danielle.filson@berlinrosen.com  

 

STATEMENT

 

New York, New York - GMHC released the following statement in response to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) announcement  that a public docket will be established to request comments on potential changes to the current blood donor deferral policy:
 
STATEMENT FROM GMHC CEO KELSEY LOUIE:

Gay Men's Health Crisis has been advocating for a change to the FDA's outdated blood donation policy for years, and we are encouraged that they are extending a comment period on potential changes to a deferral policy that is based on stigma, not science. The policy in place prevents any man who has had sex with another man in the past year from giving blood, essentially serving as a de facto lifetime ban, and ignoring the modern science of HIV-testing. GMHC is looking forward to submitting our comments on the importance of a fair, safe policy for all. We are hopeful that the FDA will attend the medical advisory board panel we are hosting in September as part of our ongoing  Blood Equality campaign, to bring together experts on HIV and blood safety and discuss a path forward from a discriminatory, one-year celibacy ban.

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About Gay Men's Health Crisis
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the nation's leading provider of HIV and AIDS care, prevention services and advocacy, serving nearly 9,000 people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in New York City, the epidemic's largest U.S. epicenter. As the world's first HIV and AIDS service organization, GMHC is an expert in providing services that every person affected by the epidemic deserves. GMHC is on the front lines caring for people who are both HIV negative and positive, including: testing, nutrition, legal, mental health and education services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal level with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020. Most recently, GMHC and other HIV and AIDS organizations successfully persuaded the federal government to recommend widespread use of PrEP, a new daily treatment that is over 90% effective in preventing HIV infection. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org.