The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing to implement new rules that will ban men who have had sex with other men from acting as anonymous sperm donors. The agency claims to be adopting the measures as a means of protecting recipients from HIV transmission, but according to the Associated Press, LGBT rights groups have been quick to point out that not only is the policy discriminatory on its face, it isn’t based in scientific reality.
“The part I find most offensive — and a little frightening — is that it isn’t based on good science,” Kevin Cathcart of Lambda Legal told the AP. “There’s a steadily increasing trend of heterosexual transmission of HIV, and yet the FDA still has this notion that you protect people by putting gay men out of the pool.”
FDA officials insist that gay men are at higher-than-average risk for contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but critics of the new policy say that the agency would be better served by screening procedures that identify high-risk behaviors in all donors, regardless of sexual orientation. Activists have also asked that the FDA reverse its ruling that bars gay men from donating blood, particularly now that more effective HIV tests are in common use.
SIGH. More unscientific silliness and government-sponsored discrimination for no good reason. All blood and semen donations are tested for HIV and other transmissible diseases. Senseless.