On June 10 and 11, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood Product Safety and Availability (CBPSA) met to evaluate the FDA’s lifetime ban on donations from men who have had sex with other men since 1977. The committee voted 9-6 to recommend that the FDA make no alterations to the current policy. A CNN article on the topic included the following quote from Jay Brooks, professor of pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio:
The issue of blood donation has “nothing to do with someone being gay. Any group that's epidemiologically at risk of making blood unsafe, it's unfortunate. ... It's a matter of epidemiology."
The different standards between gay and straight people exist because the risk of HIV is much lower in heterosexuals, he said."The interest of the recipient is greater than any donor," Brooks said. "I'd hate to tell the one person who got HIV through a blood transfusion, 'Sorry, we changed the regulation.'"
(Source: Madison Park, “Federal Ban on Gay Men's Blood Donation to be Reconsidered.” CNN, 26 May 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/25/gay.blood.donation.ban/index.html.)