May 12, 2023
The FDA this week finalized recommendations to assess who can donate blood, calling for the use of risk-based questions for every donor, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
The new recommendations will potentially expand the number of people eligible to donate blood, while maintaining the appropriate safeguards to protect the safety of the blood supply, FDA officials said. This updated policy is based on scientific evidence and is in line with policies in place in the United Kingdom and Canada.
“The implementation of these recommendations will represent a significant milestone for the agency and the LGBTQI+ community,” said Peter Marks, MD, PhD., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Here’s what you need to know:
During March, the American Hospital Association (AHA) wrote a letter to the FDA urging the agency to finalize the proposal and work with the “health care provider and LGBTQ+ communities, to raise awareness of the importance of blood donation and provide education about the new policy.”
“The AHA applauds and supports this life-saving and science-based decision by the FDA to eliminate the current time-based blood donor deferral for men who have sex with men while preserving the safety of blood as an essential product for the care hospitals and health systems provide to their patients,” the AHA letter said.
Additional information about the FDA recommendation is available online.
Tags: Public Health
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