On March 20, 2019, in the morning, the BPAC metin open session to discuss and make recommendations on strategies to reduce the risk of Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission by blood and blood components. The committee discussde whether universal testing of blood donations for ZIKV is an appropriate strategy considering the decline of the ZIKV epidemic in the United States and worldwide. In the afternoon, the committee met in open session to hear an overview of the research programs in the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Vascular Biology in the Division of Blood Components and Devices, Office of Blood Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA.
On March 21, 2019, the committee met in open session to discuss blood donation policies regarding men who have sex with men (MSM). The committee heard presentations on the current epidemiology of HIV in the United States; global developments in MSM blood donor deferral policies; and data on HIV incidence and prevalence among blood donors from the Transfusion-Transmitted Infection Monitoring System. The committee discussed a proposed HIV risk questionnaire study. In addition, the committee discussed a proposal for the use of pathogen reduction technology as an alternative procedure to a time-based deferral for MSM.