MDH calls for FDA to drop blood donation deferral policy for gay, bisexual men

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to drop a policy that requires a 90-day blood donor deferral for men who identify as gay or bisexual.

In a social media post, MDH stated the policy “lacks credible evidence, discriminates against gay and bisexual men, and restricts blood donation during a time of extraordinary need.”

Calls to drop the FDA deferral policy have intensified after the Red Cross declared in January that COVID-19 cases had led to “its worst blood shortage in more than a decade.”

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“We urge the FDA to drop this ineffective, unnecessary, and discriminatory policy,” the post from MDH went on to state.

MDH co-signed on a letter from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services to the FDA asking for this blood donor change along with six other states and Washington D.C.