Red Cross Changes Donation Guidelines Allowing More Gay Men To Give Blood

( – The American Red Cross announced changes on Monday, August 6th that they would be updating their blood donation screening process to reflect new guidelines from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA encouraged a universal series of questions that were based on individual risk and avoided sexuality-based discrimination of donors.

Men in monogamous relationships with other men will be able to donate per the updated guidance. Individuals with multiple partners or who have had anal intercourse within three months will be asked to wait three months before giving blood. In a statement, the Red Cross said they wanted to make the donation process more inclusive and treat all potential donors with respect. They’re also doing their best to maintain the safety of the blood supply. They were happy with the changes and believe it will facilitate more donations in the future.

The FDA banned gay and bisexual men from donating in the wake of the AIDs crisis, over the last decade the rules have been relaxed, but not until recently had they been completely updated. Criticism followed after the FDA relaxed a total ban on gay and bi men from donating in 2015 to restricting them to a year of abstinence prior to donating. In April 2020, they changed that restriction from a year to three months, but it was still specific for men who prefer the company of other men.

The pandemic caused the blood supply to dwindle to its lowest point in ten years which prompted the American Medical Association (AMA) to push for the removal of the discriminatory practices.

CDC data indicates there are 14 million units of blood given to patients every year from approximately 11 million donors nationwide. Women are the fastest-growing patient population for HIV infections.

FDA additionally added that the policy was updated to reflect the most recently available scientific information and bring standards in line with other first-world nations like Canada and the U.K.

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