New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0080-2010    Version: Name: FDA to reverse their longstanding prohibition on homosexual men donating blood.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Health
On agenda: 3/25/2010
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the United States Food and Drug Administration to reverse their longstanding prohibition on homosexual men donating blood.
Sponsors: Christine C. Quinn, Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Rosie Mendez, Daniel Dromm , James G. Van Bramer, Deborah L. Rose, Gale A. Brewer, Lewis A. Fidler, Robert Jackson, G. Oliver Koppell, Karen Koslowitz, Brad S. Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Annabel Palma, Ydanis A. Rodriguez, Joel Rivera, Inez E. Dickens, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Elizabeth S. Crowley, James Sanders, Jr., Jumaane D. Williams
Council Member Sponsors: 21
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 80 - 3/25/10, 2. Committee Report 4/13/10, 3. Hearing Testimony 4/13/10, 4. Hearing Transcript 4/13/10, 5. Committee Report 4/27/10, 6. Hearing Transcript 4/27/10, 7. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 4/29/10
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
4/29/2010AChristine C. Quinn City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
4/27/2010*Christine C. Quinn Committee on Health Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/27/2010*Christine C. Quinn Committee on Health Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/27/2010*Christine C. Quinn Committee on Health Amended by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/27/2010AChristine C. Quinn Committee on Health Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
4/13/2010*Christine C. Quinn Committee on Health Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/13/2010*Christine C. Quinn Committee on Health Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/25/2010*Christine C. Quinn City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/25/2010*Christine C. Quinn City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Res. No. 80-A

 

Resolution calling upon the United States Food and Drug Administration to reverse their longstanding prohibition on homosexual men donating blood.

 

By The Speaker (Council Member Quinn) and Council Members Arroyo, Mendez, Dromm, Van Bramer, Rose, Brewer, Fidler, Jackson, Koppell, Koslowitz, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Palma, Rodriguez, Rivera, Dickens, Ferreras, Crowley, Sanders Jr. and Williams

 

                           Whereas, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public health; and

                           Whereas, Inasmuch, the FDA regulates blood donation in the United States and explicitly bars any man who has had sex with another man, at any time since 1977, from donating blood; and

                           Whereas, The FDA justifies this policy by citing that 1977 was the beginning of the United States' AIDS epidemic and that men who have sex with men (MSM) are at a greater risk of HIV, hepatitis B and other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion; and

                           Whereas, This lifetime restriction on men who have had sex with men even once since 1977 from donating blood fails to consider the individual's HIV status and represents the FDA's policy since 1982; and

                           Whereas, The only other groups on the FDA's lifetime deferral list for blood donation are intravenous drug users, people who have received animal tissue or organs, people who traveled to or live in certain countries due to the risk of transmitting malaria or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and people who had sex for drugs or money; and 

                           Whereas, The FDA last reconsidered this issue in 2006 but decided not to alter its existing policy; and

                           Whereas, Despite the FDA's lifetime ban on MSM, nationally, an individual needs a life saving blood transfusion once every 3 seconds; and

                           Whereas, Yet, while 60 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, on average less than 5 percent of people actually donate; and

                           Whereas, This figure is less in New York and New Jersey, where it is estimated that less than 2 percent of the eligible population donate blood; and

                           Whereas, Each day in New York City, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) estimates that 4.5 million Americans benefit from life-saving blood transfusions each year; and

                           Whereas, The NYBC requires more than 2,000 donors every day to meet the existing need of patients in approximately 200 hospitals in New York and New Jersey; and

                           Whereas, A single blood donation can save 3 lives, following component separation; and

                           Whereas, Recipients of blood donation include cancer patients, accident, burn and trauma victims, new born babies, transplant patients, mothers delivering babies, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, among others in need; and

                           Whereas, Limiting the population of potential blood donors leaves numerous vulnerable individuals in need of receiving life-saving blood; and

                           Whereas, The Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) recently released a report entitled "A Drive for Change: Reforming U.S. Blood Donation Policies;" and

                           Whereas, This report advocates for a revision on the lifetime restriction of MSM from donating blood and cite both action taken by other countries and advances in medicine and blood screening; and

                           Whereas, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Hungary, Japan, Sweden and New Zealand have all imposed a time period in which an MSM must wait before being allowed to donate, while Russia completely lifted the ban; and

                           Whereas, Other countries, such as Italy, Spain and France screen potential donors for high-risk sexual practices, rather than MSM behavior, and as such these countries defer all individuals who have engaged in risky sexual behavior; and

                           Whereas, GMHC's report also indicates that advancements in medical technology and blood screening lend further credence that the risk is minimal; and

                           Whereas, There are two methods of testing for HIV, the antibody test and the nucleic acid test; and

                           Whereas, Both tests seek to determine whether the individual is infected with HIV and the nucleic test allows for a significantly shorter window period, the period when HIV is undetectable, of approximately 9 to 11 days; and

                           Whereas, The FDA recently announced that they will reexamine the restrictions on blood donation by gay men and that the United States Department of Health and Human Services' blood safety committee will look into this issue in June; and

                           Whereas, Numerous public health groups including the American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, America's Blood Centers, the American Medical Association and the GMHC and leading LGBT organizations have urged that the FDA's lifetime restriction be revised; now, therefore, be it

                           Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the United States Food and Drug Administration to reverse their longstanding prohibition on homosexual men donating blood.

 

LS # 713

4/19/10

JM