A new pilot study funded by the Food and Drug Administration could be the first step toward lifting restrictions on blood donations by gay and bisexual men. Participants must be 18 to 30, have had at least one male sex partner in the last three months and be willing to donate blood. The results could ultimately determine whether the FDA changes its blood-donor history questionnaire, asked of all potential donors to assess risk factors for infection by transfusion-transmissible diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B. Restrictions on certain blood donors date to the early s, during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, when the FDA instituted a lifetime ban on any man who had had sex with another man since That rule, intended to keep HIV out of the blood supply, was replaced in with a year-long abstinence requirement. After the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, more than members of Congress — including Sens.
UK eases restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men in 'landmark change'
Blood donation: UK eases restrictions on gay and bisexual men
All blood donors are required to meet FDA eligibility criteria to donate blood, every time. These eligibility criteria apply to all U. Only an estimated 38 percent of the U. However, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually donates each year. The gender-specific donation criteria and questions on the health history questionnaire are designed to ensure that the blood collection process is as safe as possible for the donors as well as for the recipients of blood. Learn more about blood donation eligibility. Health history questions are based on past and current behavior risks for example: travel, medication, sexual activity, etc.
U.K. eases restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
When Lukus Estok recovered from a traumatic case of Covid that sent him to hospital, he tried to donate his plasma for an experimental treatment that could help critically ill coronavirus patients. He finally attended an appointment last week, but as soon as a worker there learned he was gay, her face turned cold. Under pressure from lawmakers and in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has ravaged parts of the US and forced thousands of blood drives to cancel, the FDA fast-tracked new guidance in early April to further ease the restriction to three months. But when he got there, he was turned away, much like Estok.
The government called it a "landmark change" and the guidelines go into effect next summer. Under the new rules, donors who have had one sexual partner and who have been with their sexual partner for more than three months will be eligible to donate blood regardless of their gender, the gender of their partner or the type of sex they have. The report proposed a move away from a blanket three-month deferral for men who have had sex with men and instead, identify a wider range of "highest risk behaviors" that applies to all donors, regardless of sexuality. Gallego: Arizona GOP 'rode the wave of white supremacy' for many years. Donors will no longer be asked to declare if they have had sex with another man or their sexuality, making blood donation gender neutral and more inclusive.