CAF Announces Position on Blood Safety

March 30, 2010 – In response to recent calls to revise existing safeguards for blood donations, CAF has issued the following statement:

The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, representing the thalassemia community whose members are the single largest individual users of blood products in the United States, believes that existing regulations intended to safeguard the nation’s blood supply and which prohibit the donation of blood from men who have sex with other men (MSM) should be kept in place without modification. A recent analysis reported at the CDC’s 2010 National STD Prevention Conference underscores the disproportionate impact of HIV among MSM, noting that the rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM is between 44 and 86 times that of other men. (Click here to read letter from CDC.)

Before current blood supply safeguards were adopted, many members of the thalassemia community contracted HIV through the lifelong blood transfusions that they receive as often as every two weeks. This community has also been affected by transfusion-related transmission of various other blood borne pathogens, such as hepatitis C, and so ensuring the safety of the blood supply is of paramount importance to the Foundation.

PSA for CAF featuring Carol Alt

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