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Record #: R2017-1036   
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Intro date: 11/21/2017 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Health and Environmental Protection
Final action: 1/17/2018
Title: Call for Food and Drug Administration to remove ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with men within last year
Sponsors: Tunney, Thomas, Lopez, Raymond A., Cappleman, James, Ramirez-Rosa, Carlos, Mell, Deborah, Waguespack, Scott, Osterman, Harry, Valencia, Anna M.
Attachments: 1. R2017-1036.pdf

WHEREAS in 1983 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a blood donor policy that permanently prohibited donations by men who have had sex with men (MSM), even once, to prevent the spread of HIV; and
WHEREAS the FDA partially lifted this ban in 2015, but still maintains a discriminatory prohibition against donations by men who have had sex with men within the last year, regardless of HIV status or individual risk; and
WHEREAS this means, for example, that a married, monogamous gay man who is not HIV positive cannot donate blood unless he has been celibate for a year—which is a de facto lifetime ban on blood donations for many MSM; and
WHEREAS while certain racial and age groups make up a larger proportion of new HIV infections than MSM, these groups are not banned from donating blood unless they meet a much higher threshold of exposure risk criteria; and
WHEREAS the one-year ban on sexual activity by MSM blood donors is the same as for people who are known to have increased risk, such as those who have had sex with someone who is HIV-positive or with a sex worker; and
WHEREAS blood testing technology has advanced significantly since 1983, and all blood donations are already tested for HIV; and
WHEREAS countries such as Argentina and Italy have updated their blood donation policies and deferral lengths based on individual risk for both men and women, regardless of sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS there have been numerous instances of blood shortages, such as after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, yet the one-year deferral for MSM has remained in place; and
WHEREAS this past summer, the donated blood supply in Chicago reached critically low levels, putting people in need of blood transfusions, surgery, transplants or other health issues at risk; and
WHEREAS the City Council sponsored a blood drive on November 28 at City Hall in response to this blood shortage; and
WHEREAS the restrictions on MSM blood donations perpetuates s...

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