An advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has narrowly voted to maintain the ban on blood donations from homosexual men. The vote was 7-6 to maintain the ban. Under the FDA’s rules, men cannot give blood if they have had sex with another man at least once since 1977. The FDA was considering changing the blood donation rule to ban only men who had had sex with another man within the past five years. The rule came into force originally in 1985 to protect the blood supply from HIV. Critics claim that the ban is discriminatory and outdated, as other high risk groups such as prostitutes, intravenous drug users, and promiscuous heterosexuals are deferred from donation only one year from their last high risk encounter.