The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has outlined steps toward ending the nationwide ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood, according to a statement from U.S. Senator John Kerry (D–Mass.), who has been lobbying to repeal the ban. HHS laid out four final areas that need additional study before the policy can be changed: how the risk of blood-transmissible diseases in current donors relates to risk factors in donors; the root cause of accidental release of blood not cleared for use; if MSM would comply with modified deferral criteria; and if alternative screening strategies for MSM would assure blood safety.

To read Kerry’s statement, click here.