Msm Blood Donor Controversy

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MSM blood donor controversy Amid the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the early 1980s, the FDA banned blood donations from men who'd had sex with another man after 1977. The policy remains in effect to this day. Gay rights advocates protested the ban as both unfair and unwise, an ethical problem, and a discrimination controversy. The men who have sex with men (MSM) blood donor controversy is a dispute over prohibitions on donations of blood or tissue for transplantation. MSM is a classification of men who engage (or have engaged in the past) in sex with other men, regardless of whether they identify themselves as homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. This group is considered to be at high risk for HIV/AIDS and some types of hepatitis, viruses that can be transmitted in blood transfusions. Restrictions on donors are often called "deferrals" since in some cases blood donors who are found ineligible may be accepted at a later date. The restrictions vary from country to country, and in many cases men are deferred who have not had sex with men for many years. The restrictions affect MSM and the female sex partners of MSM. They do not otherwise affect women, including women who have sex with women. Many LGBT organizations ("lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people) view the restrictions on donation as based on homophobia and not based on valid medical concern since donations are rigorously tested to rule out donors that are infected. Proponents of the lifetime restriction defend it because of the risk of false negative test results and because the MSM population tends to have a relatively high prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection. For instance, in the United States, men who have had sex with a man after 1977 have HIV prevalence 60 times higher than the general population. An evaluation, in Australia, of relative risk between a year deferral after the most recent MSM contact and
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