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FDA Gets Rid of Blood Donation Restriction for Gay and Bisexual Donors

The FDA has officially loosened its restrictions for gay and bisexual blood donors.

On Thursday the FDA will start asking gay and bisexual donors “individual risk-based questions” and will allow gay and bisexual men to receive the same questions as other donors.

Previously gay and bisexual men would have to refrain from having sex for three months before donating.

The rule was originally implemented during the AIDS pandemic.

Per The Hill:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday loosened restrictions on blood donations by men who have sex with men, a change that could ease blood shortages by allowing more people to donate.

The agency said it will recommend a series of  “individual risk-based questions” that will be the same for every donor, regardless of sexual orientation, sex or gender. Gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships will be allowed to donate blood.

“The implementation of these recommendations will represent a significant milestone for the agency and the LGBTQI+ community,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Per CNN:

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday paved the way for more gay and bisexual men to donate blood by finalizing new risk-based recommendations for blood donation. Going forward, prospective donors will be asked the same set of questions regardless of their sex or sexual orientation.

Before the FDA began taking a second look at its guidance several years ago, gay and bisexual men had faced a lifetime ban on blood donation, a move that many said was discriminatory. The most recent policy recommended that men who have sex with men wait three months after sexual contact with other men before they could donate blood.

The policy changes eliminate deferrals and screening questions specific to men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with MSM. It brings the United States in line with other countries such as the UK and Canada, which have also implemented risk-based rules.


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