Dr. Brian Custer discusses why the one-year ban on sexually active gay men donating blood still exists.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking for new scientific research as it reevaluates a controversial policy banning men from donating blood if they admit to having had sex with another man in the past year. Gay rights advocates say the rules are not based in science, but on decades of stigma regarding gay men and AIDS. NewsHour Weekend’s Ivette Feliciano reports.
The ultimate impediment to a cure for HIV infection is the presence of latent, HIV-infected cells, which can reawaken and produce new virus when antiretroviral drug therapy is stopped. These latent, HIV-infected cells are untouched by antiretroviral therapy and are unseen by the immune system.
Public policy experts, including Dr. Brian Custer from Blood Systems Research Institute, explain the science and research still needed for the US Food & Drug Administration to consider lifting the permanent deferral of MSM from donating blood.
OTTAWA, ON – Scientists from Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco, California, and Canadian Blood Services’ Centre for Innovation lab in Edmonton, Alberta, report for the first time that specific red blood cell manufacturing methods may be less damaging to cells than others. This finding could help reduce adverse reactions in transfusion recipients and may impact the future of how blood is collected in North America and around the world.
Spurred by three decades of momentum and fresh funding, scientists mount a major effort to finally defeat AIDS.