Donations from gay and bisexual individuals are dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration on approved new rules that could make it easier for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.
The agency said it will require questions pertaining to the risk of transfusion of HIV to be the same for every donor, regardless of sexual orientation, sex or gender. The new policy brings the United States in line with countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom and expands the number of people eligible to donate blood.
"The implementation of these recommendations will represent a significant milestone for the agency and the LGBTQI+ community," Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. "The FDA is committed to working closely with the blood collection industry to help ensure timely implementation of the new recommendations, and we will continue to monitor the safety of the blood supply once this individual risk-based approach is in place."
The agency's current guidelines require men who have sex with other men to wait three months before they donate blood. Before 2020, a 12-month waiting period was required. The new policy eliminates those time restrictions, giving all prospective donors the same set of questions. Marks said the science supported these changes.
"The FDA has worked diligently to evaluate our policies and ensure we had the scientific evidence to support individual risk assessment for donor eligibility while maintaining appropriate safeguards to protect recipients of blood products," Marks said.
The new rules come at a time when blood banks across the country are reporting shortages. yhe American Red Cross declared its first-ever blood crisis in January 2022 after a 10% decline in the number of people donating. The whole idea is mad.