Memorial Blood Centers now accepting eligible LGBTQIA+ donors
A new blood donor screening process that bases eligibility on an Individual Donor Assessment (IDA) and won’t disqualify prospective donors based on sexual or gender identity has now been implemented.
Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) says the organization has adopted a donor history questionnaire, and also updated and validated computer systems regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as trained staff on updated operational procedures.
Memorial Blood Centers Vice President Kathy Geist shared the following written statement:
“For decades, we have strongly advocated for scientifically based changes to the FDA policies regarding gay and bisexual men and this recent decision by the FDA is a huge step toward making blood donation more inclusive. We look forward to welcoming these new donors to our centers and blood drives, especially following a tough summer with low donor turnout.”Memorial Blood Centers Vice President Kathy Geist
The FDA established a policy in 1983 that banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood to reduce the chance of HIV spreading through blood supplies before widespread testing was available. That policy was revised in 2015 with a 12-month deferral for men who have sex with men after new testing made the practice safer. The deferral was reduced to three months in 2020.
The most recent policy is based on the “Assessing Donor Variability and New Concepts in Eligibility” (ADVANCE) Study, which can be found here.
More information on the changes to the FDA policy can be found here.