AMA Wire

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians

Comments wanted about MSM blood donation

Comments wanted about MSM blood donation

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking comments on the design of a pilot study on alternative donor deferral criteria that would permit blood and plasma donations by men who have had sex with other men (MSM).

Based upon higher levels of certain transfusion-transmissible infections in some groups of MSM, all men with a history of this behavior since 1977 are deferred from donating blood. However, the increased effectiveness of donor testing for HIV, the Hepatitis B virus, syphilis and other infectious agents has greatly enhanced blood safety. With that, questions have been raised about the need to continue an indefinite deferral of all MSM and whether there could be blood donation by MSM who may not be at increased risk.

Visit the Federal Register for more information and for details about how to submit comments on this issue.

Blogger examines how medical education can help improve care for GLBT patients

A blog post written by medical student Kristen Eckstrand explores her experience with discrimination by the health care system, noting the vital need for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) content in medical school curricula. Eckstrand offers her perspective on the avenues through which to increase GLBT health content despite numerous barriers.

Eckstrand's comments appear on Wing of Zock, a blog powered by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The AMA has extensive policy related to GLBT issues.