New Level of Ignorance at FDA

Food and Drug Administration officials are set to “implement new rules recommending that any man who has engaged in homosexual sex in the previous five years be barred from serving as an anonymous sperm donor.” The FDA’s decision comes from a conviction that “gay men collectively pose a higher-than-average risk of carrying the AIDS virus.” There are, however, adequate safety assurances available to address concerns of HIV transmission by any donor, regardless of sexual orientation. If the FDA was truly concerned about reducing the spread of HIV, it ought to adopt “a screening process that focuses on high-risk sexual behavior by any would-be donor, gay or straight.” Why is that? In the words of Leland Traiman, a leading opponent of the rule change:

“Under these rules, a heterosexual man who had unprotected sex with HIV-positive prostitutes would be OK as a donor one year later, but a gay man in a monogamous, safe-sex relationship is not OK unless he’s been celibate for five years.”