Petition Signing Document
By signing, you signify that you agree with the Petition below this paragraph. In short, the petition argues that the FDA's 1-year deferral of MSMs* unduly restricts the blood supply, and wrongly excludes MSMs with a low-risk of having HIV/AIDs . As an alternative, we propose to expand the screening process in order to identify persons who engage in safe-sex practices for donation, which would help to counter-national blood shortages.
*men who have sex with men, defining man by sex not gender.
The FDA currently defers men for 1 year after sex with another man (including sex of nearly all types) due to high rates of HIV/AIDs transmission among MSMs*. This policy wrongly excludes donations from low-risk MSMs whom facilities could easily identify through asking more questions during the screening process. Why deny donations from a man who reports no sex within the last year except for oral sex, protected sex, or monogamous sex, especially given recent improvements in testing? We therefore petition the FDA to assess donor risk individually through more specific screening questions as a substitute to its blanket deferral.
We acknowledge that donors may provide false information without knowing. After all, about 25% of all partners cheat in monogamous relationships, regardless of sexual orientation. The FDA could still effectively screen for low-risk MSMS through considering additional factors in tandem--for example, the form of sex and use of protection. These additional factors tightly correlate with transmission risk and are reported more accurately. The FDA also notes that "non-compliance, recall bias, and other behavioral issues" may render our proposal unreliable, but this claim is unsupported and ad-hoc.
The change proposed would allow many of those signing to join their communities in helping the FDA to meet the growing demand for blood, counter shortages, and save invaluable human lives. We ask for your kind consideration in light of this serious fact.
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UCLA Graduate Student
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