Restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men persist despite shortage crisis

By Michele Zipkin, Philadelphia Gay News | January 19, 2022

Former Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow Cameron McConkey spoke to Philadelphia Gay News about the research against the Food and Drug Administration’s celibacy requirement for blood donations from men who have sex with men.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to lift its three-month celibacy requirement for donations from men who have sex with men (MSM), even on the heels of an announcement from The American Red Cross that it is experiencing a significant blood shortage including in the Philadelphia area. And according to a report from Axios, 25% of blood demand in the Philadelphia region is not being met, and blood donation centers in the region are working with less than a half day of supply.

A Red Cross statement regarding the crisis reads: “Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.”

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