June 14, 2024

Healt Hid

Because health is very important to us

FDA urged to relax tissue donation ban for gay and bisexual men

5 min read
Sheryl J. Moore has been advocating for the past decade to update the rules about gay men donating tissue since she lost her eldest son, Alexander “AJ” Betts Jr., to suicide in 2013 and his corneas went to waste.

The federal government in 2020 and 2023 changed its rules on organ and blood donation, reducing the restrictions on men who have had sex with another man.

But the Food and Drug Administration’s old restrictions on donated tissue, a catchall term encompassing everything from a person’s eyes to their skin and ligaments, remain in place. Lawmakers and advocates, especially for cornea donation, want to align the guidelines for tissue donated by gay and bisexual men with those that apply to the rest of the human body.

They have been asking the FDA for years to reduce the deferral period from five years to 90 days, meaning a man who has had sex with another man would be able to donate tissue as long as such sex didn’t occur within three months of his death.

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