Blood Donation Ban Rooted in Fear, Not Science, Holloway Says

Associate Professor of Social Welfare Ian Holloway was featured in a Washington Post video about the FDA’s recent decision to ease restrictions on blood donations from gay men. In 1985, the FDA prohibited blood donations from men who had sex with other men even once since 1977. “I think it’s important to recognize that the ban really is rooted in discriminatory attitudes and based on fear and not science,” Holloway explained. In 2015, the lifetime ban became a 12-month ban, which was lowered to three months of abstinence this year. Many gay men who have recovered from COVID-19 have been disheartened to find that they are unable to donate antibodies due to the restrictions. “Many hold the opinion, myself included, that the ban is based on stigma, not science,” Holloway said. “I think the shortening of the deferral period is a step in the right direction, but I don’t think it goes far enough.”

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