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IDF is Vigilant on Blood and Plasma Safety

Making sure that the plasma supply for immunoglobulin is safe is a premier concern for IDF.  After the catastrophe that occurred in the 1980 with HIV and the Hemophilia community where 10,000 people with hemophilia died as a result of contaminated plasma, all plasma using patient organizations  in the American Plasma Users Coalition (A-PLUS), including IDF, are vigilant in their quest for blood and plasma safety. Two years ago, attempts were made to abolish the federal regulation that required blood and plasma collection centers to defer the donations of all men who had had sex with another man since 1978.  A-PLUS opposed those attempts at that time contending that if such a change is warranted, it should be based on science and not politics. The Department Health and Human Services (HHS) Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability, agreed with IDF and A-PLUS and recommended no change.  It also recommended that studies be undertaken to see if such a donor deferral could be revised based on scientific studies.  HHS will be conducting such studies.

The letter that A-PLUS, including IDF, has sent to the Secretary of HHS makes the points that the studies should include pathogens in addition to HIV and that whatever blood samples are collected not be introduced into the blood and plasma pools.

 

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Comments

I am confused about the current policy, which allows straight men who have had sex with an HIV positive woman to donate blood after waiting just one year, however healthy gay or bisexual men are banned from giving blood for life. If it is unsafe for a gay/bi man who may have never had sex with an HIV positive individual to donate blood, then isn't it unsafe for a man who has had sex with a woman who is confirmed HIV positive to donate blood as well? Politics aside, it seems like they really should also ban anyone who has had sex with an HIV positive person, for the same reasons that they are banning gay/bi men. And if waiting a year after having sex with an HIV positive woman is sufficient for safety purposes for a straight male donor, then maybe they could apply the same rule to gay/bi donors, since with the prevalence of blood shortages we could use all the donations we can get.