Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, Founding Dean and CEO of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, weighed in on a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restriction preventing certain men who have sex with other men (MSM) from donating plasma due to fears of HIV transmission that date back to the early 1980s.
Schuster is quoted in an article published at Insider.com, titled, “The FDA's new plan to adjust plasma donation for gay and bisexual men is 'a step in the right direction' but still isn't enough progress.” The piece explores how the FDA eased its plasma donation restrictions in 2015 and 2020 for some men and may now consider lifting the restrictions for a more individualized screening approach.
Schuster emphasized that plasma donations are “crucial for those with diseases including immunodeficiency, hemophilia, and lung diseases,” but added that “the FDA's new plan to adjust plasma donation for gay and bisexual men” is still not enough progress since this option would only be available to men who haven't had any new partners in three months but have had sex with an existing male partner.
Schuster added, "Even though testing capabilities have improved dramatically, the FDA has been slow to change its policy. The current restrictions feel like they have not kept up with technological advances that have allowed us to test more effectively for HIV."
Read the article here .