— Jennifer Rodriguez, Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman, referring to a panel of experts convened by the FDA to debate whether a ban on gay men donating blood should be lifted. As reported by the AFP, after two days of “heated deliberations” the 17-member committee failed to recommend whether the FDA should lift its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, while the FDA hasn’t indicated when it would reach its own decision on the matter.
“The FDA’s primary concern as we continue to review our blood donation policies will be assuring the continued safety of blood and blood products for the patients who receive these products,” Rodriquez continued. Panel member Toby Simon, CSL Behring’s senior medical director, told AFP that “the blood bank community has looked at the data and feels they can scientifically and medically support the change.” Professor of epidemiology, international health and medicine at Johns Hopkins University, Kenrad Nelson, disagreed. “Even if this leads to one or two cases of HIV infection,” Kenrad stated, “that’s not acceptable.”
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