Sunday, May 14, 2023

U.S. relaxes blood donation rules for gay and bisexual men


The United States has implemented changes to blood donation guidelines, allowing for more gay and bisexual men to give with fewer restrictions.

In the new guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships can now donate blood in the US without having to refrain from sex.

“This policy eliminates time-based deferrals and screening questions specific to men who have sex with men (MSM),” writes the FDA.

These changes relax decades-old restrictions that were initially designed to protect blood supplies from HIV, removing the requirement for a generalised population of “MSM” to abstain from sex for a three-month period before donating.

Instead, the updated guidelines now ask all prospective donors,  regardless of gender, orientation, or background,  screening questions aimed at evaluating individual risk factors for HIV based on medical history, sexual activity, and other factors.

The best available scientific evidence shows there is no meaningful risk for gay and bisexual men to give blood.

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