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After FDA Policy Shift, OneBlood Should Accept Blood From Gay Men Within Six Months

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Salesian High via Flickr
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The Food and Drug Administration is doing away with a ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men.

OneBlood Northeast Florida Spokeswoman Odette Struys calls the ban “outdated,” adding that HIV testing is much more reliable today than it once was. And she says all donated blood undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it’s disease free.

“So I have a feeling, with this new guidance issued by the FDA, that it will increase the donor pool,” she says. “We’re not sure at this time by how much.”

But the ban isn’t completely gone. The new guideline continues to exclude male donors who have had intercourse with a man within the past year.

Struys says the new policy should be implemented at OneBlood within six months. Leadership must first approve the change, and staff must be re-trained, she says.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP