The Ottumwa Courier

Breaking News

AP National

September 16, 2013

Despite pressure, ban on gay blood donors endures

(Continued)

"People perceive of giving blood as a civic duty," Moulton added. "The current policy puts gay and bisexual men who are going to be honest in an awkward position during a blood drive. People ask, 'Why aren't you giving blood?'"

The FDA acknowledges that the ban leads to rejection of many healthy donors.

However, it says the policy "minimizes even the small risk of getting infectious diseases such as HIV or hepatitis through a blood transfusion." And it says the blood supply in the U.S. has been stable.

Susan Stramer, executive scientific officer with the American Red Cross, agrees that the magnitude of the blood supply isn't a decisive factor in the debate.

"We have a surplus of blood," she said. "The question is about what's equitable."

The push for changing the policy gained momentum in 2006, when the Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, and America's Blood Centers reported to an FDA-sponsored workshop that the ban "is medically and scientifically unwarranted."

Over the next few years, the California State Assembly and the city councils in New York and Washington, D.C., urged repeal of the ban.

Faced with such appeals, HHS sought input in 2010 from its Advisory Committee for Blood Safety and Availability. The committee concluded that the donor-screening policy is "suboptimal" — permitting some potentially high risk donations while preventing some low risk donations — but recommended that the ban on donations by gay and bisexual men be retained pending further research.

In March 2012, HHS asked for comments on a possible pilot study to assess alternatives that would permit some gay and bisexual men to donate blood while maintaining the current high level of blood safety. That study has yet to begin.

Regardless of the pilot study's fate, Stramer said it's possible federal officials could gather enough data from other ongoing research to make an incremental change, such as emulating Canada by barring donors who've had male-on-male sex during the previous five years.

Text Only
AP National
  • Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has spent nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, but the agency can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarke

    July 24, 2014

  • JFK returns to old look in new collectors' coins WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S.

    July 24, 2014

  • FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel. The end of the ban, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets, was effective at 11:45 p

    July 24, 2014

  • Man run over by own truck during road rage GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window. It happened Tuesday evening in Gainesville, Florida. The

    July 24, 2014

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. The agency sued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Tuesday in federal court over th

    July 24, 2014

  • US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier WASHINGTON (AP) — Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged. That conclusion, one held by a growing number of economists, might surprise many people. After all, in the f

    July 23, 2014

  • Judges in health care rulings vote party line WASHINGTON (AP) — In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them. It was the l

    July 23, 2014

  • House, Senate chart separate courses on border WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal that could pass both chambers

    July 23, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. THE FINAL DAYS AND HOURS OF FLIGHT 17'S PASSENGERS The Boeing 777 traveling from Amsterdam to Malaysia held the promise of beginnings and endin

    July 23, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress will hear testimony Wednesday detailing how undercover investigators used fake identities to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says

    July 23, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National