Having multiple sex partners makes a person too risky to donate an organ, according to a new policy proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"With the new guidelines, every college student in America will be high risk," said Dr. Harry Dorn-Arias, a transplant surgeon at the University of Virginia.
Someone who has had two or more sexual partners in the previous 12 months is at an increased risk of HIV, hepatitis B and C, says the CDC. In addition, the guidelines also classify as risky: kidney dialysis patients, those who have snorted cocaine or heroin, people who have been in incarcerated for three consecutive days or who have immigrated to the U.S. from a country with high rates of hepatitis B.
Transplant experts worry the focus on monogamy will limit the number of available donors.
"It's probably going to triple what we consider high risk at this point," said Tracy Giacoma, transplant administrator at the University of Kansas Hospital. "It may scare patients off from taking these organs. More patients may die because they don't take these organs."
There are an estimated 28,000 organ transplants each year, although some 112,000 are still on waiting lists, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.