The Washington Post  |  December 1, 2014

Jeffrey Crowley, the first AIDS czar under President Obama, assures me this is an important first step. “It is a big change. Most gay men will still be deferred from donating (because we are sexually active), but it won’t be a lifetime ban,” said Crowley, who is now the program director of the National HIV/AIDS Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law. “[It p]uts our policy more in line with other developed countries.” As The Post reported, Japan, Australia and Great Britain all have one-year bans on gay men blood donations. Canada has a five-year ban.

“Adopting this one-year deferral policy while watching for increased transmissions and doing further research is probably a positive path forward,” Crowley added. “[M]ore changes will be needed in the future.” Changes that take into account blood donors’ level of risk would be the right way to go.

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