Many LGBT organizations 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 an 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 a 5-year deferral showed no evidence of a significantly increased risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV.
The blood ban issue is gaining momentum worldwide. It's time for more concerted effort to lift the blood ban in the United States. The American Red Cross and the American Association of Blood Banks support lifting the ban. Sexual behavior is not identical with orientation.
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