Federal health officials are recommending an end to the nation’s lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a 31-year-old policy that many medical groups and gay activists say is no longer justified.
The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it favors replacing the blanket ban with a new policy barring donations from men who have had gay sex in the previous year. FDA officials said that policy is supported by research and would put the US in line with other countries including Australia, Japan and the UK.
The lifetime ban dates from the early years of the AIDS crisis and was intended to protect the blood supply from what was then a little-understood disease.
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