Trump says he had nothing to do with FDA easing gay blood ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, screenshot via C-SPAN/Twitter.

President Trump, in response to a question from the Washington Blade, said Friday he had nothing to do with the recent Food & Drug Administration decision to ease the ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

“No. I didn’t know anything about that,” Trump said. “That was done by the FDA, very capable people at the FDA.”

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FDA eases ban on gay blood donations amid coronavirus crisis

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Faced with tremendous pressure during the coronavirus crisis to lift its policy barring gay men from donating blood, the Food & Drug Administration announced on Thursday it has eased the restrictions.

While the previous policy, established in 2015, barred men who have had sex with men in the 12 months from making a donation, the new policy would shorten the deferral period, requiring abstinence for only three months.

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Senators renew call to lift ban on gay blood donations amid coronavirus crisis

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A cadre of 17 senators — including six former presidential hopefuls and one current candidate — are calling on the Food & Drug Administration to take another look at the ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter dated March 26, the senators take note Trump administration health officials, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, have made urgent pleas for blood donations to address a shortage in the blood supply during the pandemic.

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Despite call to donate blood amid coronavirus crisis, FDA firm on gay ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Despite calls for increased blood donations amid the coronavirus crisis, the Food & Drug Administration is staying firm on its ban prohibiting gay men from donating blood.

“At this time, FDA’s recommendations regarding blood donor deferral for men who have sex with men have not changed, but we will continue to reevaluate the situation as the outbreak progresses,” a spokesperson told the Washington Blade Thursday.

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Maryland-based gene therapy company claims it can eliminate HIV from people with disease

By : Jeremy Williams
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American Gene Technologies (AGT), a gene and cell therapeutics company based out of Rockville, Maryland, has filed an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new therapy which the company claims can eliminate HIV from people infected with the disease.

The treatment, which the company calls AGT103-T, is “a single-dose, lentiviral vector-based gene therapy” that is “a genetically-modified cell product made from a person’s own cells.”

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Lance Bass slams FDA’s ban on blood donations from gay men

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lance Bass blasted the FDA’s ban on donations from gay men in frustration over not being allowed to donate blood to victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

“How is it STILL illegal for gays to donate blood??!!” Bass tweeted. “I want to donate and I’m not allowed.”

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Gay smokers: FDA wants you to kick the habit

By : Wire Report
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Washington (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration’s latest anti-smoking campaign takes aim at young adults in the LGBT community, who officials say are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as their peers.

The $35.7 million effort targets the estimated 40 percent of 2 million LGBT young adults in the U.S. who occasionally smoke. Dubbed “This Free Life,” the campaign will begin running print, digital and outdoor advertising in 12 markets this week. The ads use the slogan “Freedom to be, Tobacco-Free,” and are aimed at adults ages 18 to 24.

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Blood sculpture draws attention to FDA ban on gay donors

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — An art installation opening in New York City draws attention to a federal ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

“Blood Mirror” by Jordan Eagles uses blood donated by nine gay and bisexual men. It’s encased in resin.

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FDA releases plan to ease restrictions on gay blood donation

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is outlining its plan to end the nation’s lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a 32-year-old policy that many medical groups and gay activists say is no longer justified.

The FDA on May 12 released proposed guidelines for screening blood donors at increased risk of carrying HIV. Under the proposal, the current blanket ban on donations from gay men would be replaced with a policy barring donations from men who have had sex with another man in the last year. The Obama administration previously announced the policy shift in December.

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FDA advisers raise concerns about lifting ban on gay blood donors

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Government health advisers have concerns about lifting a nationwide ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, despite growing pressure against the policy from gay rights advocates, medical experts and blood banks.

The ban dates from the first years of the AIDS epidemic and was intended to protect the U.S. blood supply from exposure to the little-understood disease. But many medical groups, including the American Medical Association, say the policy is no longer supported by science, given advances in HIV testing. And gay activists say the lifetime ban is discriminatory and perpetuates negative stereotypes against homosexual men.

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Iowa woman calls for lift of FDA donation ban

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa mom is speaking out against the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on donations of some tissue from gay men after her son died and some of his organs were rejected.

Sheryl Moore of Pleasant Hill was told that some of her son’s tissues wouldn’t be donated because his sexual history was unclear, The Des Moines Register reported.

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Despite opposition, ban on gay men donating blood endures

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – The U.S. gay-rights movement has achieved many victories in recent years – on marriage, military service and other fronts. Yet one vestige of an earlier, more wary era remains firmly in place: the 30-year-old nationwide ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

Dating from the first years of the AIDS epidemic, the ban is a source of frustration to many gay activists, and also to many leading players in the nation’s health and blood-supply community who have joined in calling for change.

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