This is a safe and thoughtful decision:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended dropping its blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual donors in favor of a less restrictive policy.

The proposed policy change, which will be offered for public comment next year, would allow gay men to donate blood if they had not engaged in sex with another man for at least a year.

The current ban, which was established in 1983 at the height of the AIDS epidemic, covers men who had engaged in gay sex at any time since 1977.

In a prepared statement, FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the proposed policy would “better align the deferral period with that of other men and women at increased risk for HIV infection.”

The FDA said that it has already taken steps to implement a national blood surveillance system that will help the agency monitor the effect of a policy change. (more…)