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Colorado eye physician fights ban on cornea donations from homosexual males

Colorado eye physician fights ban on cornea donations from homosexual males

The coverage was created when HIV exams weren’t as dependable.

AURORA, Colo. — A corneal transplant may treatment some types of blindness, however 1000’s of individuals every year are handed up as donors as a result of they’re homosexual. Ophthalmologist, Michael Puente realized in regards to the 27-year-old coverage about two years in the past and hasn’t stopped excited about it. 

“That is simply nonsense that that is nonetheless the legislation,” the assistant ophthalmology professor on the College of Colorado Faculty of Drugs stated. “I have been working the final couple of years to analysis this coverage and lift consciousness about it and how one can persuade the [Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] that it is time to change it.”

During the last two years, Puente rallied different well being care employees to share information in regards to the coverage. The FDA rule restricts homosexual males from donating their corneas if they’d intercourse with one other man within the final 5 years. 

The coverage was created when HIV exams weren’t as dependable. In keeping with a examine led by Puente, the deferral coverage eradicated greater than 3,000 corneal donations in a single yr alone inside america and Canada.

Puente stated there has by no means been a case of HIV transmission by way of a corneal transplant anyplace on this planet.

“Though now we’ve extremely dependable and fast exams for HIV for everybody who donates their cornea, even when all that testing is unfavourable, we nonetheless should implement the legislation from 1994,” Puente defined. “It was apparent to me that we needed to do one thing to vary it.” 

Fifty-two members of Congress appeared to agree. Final week, Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse, alongside his colleagues, despatched a letter that Puente helped draft to the FDA. It known as on the division to vary the coverage. 

“I used to be so excited,” Puente stated as he heard the information. “To have all these energy brokers lastly take a stand on this for the primary time I feel it is inevitable we will get this to vary now.” 

The FDA was requested to answer the request inside 30 days.

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