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FDA Changes MSM Blood Donation Policy

On April 2, 2020, the FDA announced it was changing its blood donation policy by lowering the deferral period for a man who has had sex with another man from 12 months to 3 months. GLMA has been advocating for changes to the blood donation policy affecting gay and bisexual men since 1982.

GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued the following statement in response to the change in policy:

“The change in the FDA’s deferral period for gay and bisexual men to donate blood from 12 to 3 months is an encouraging step in the right direction, and we urge eligible community members to donate blood, especially in light of the desperate need during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the new policy continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men by leaving intact the categorical restriction on MSM to donate blood.

“As we have for nearly 40 years advocating to change this policy, GLMA remains committed to working with the FDA to develop a blood donation policy that defers individuals based on individual at-risk behaviors, including specific at-risk sexual behavior regardless of sexual orientation or gender, consistent with the latest scientific evidence.”

To read more about GLMA’s efforts to change the blood donation policy, please visit here.

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