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.