New York Blood Center applauds proposed change to screening process
The Food and Drug Administration proposed changes to its screening process that would open up who is eligible to donate blood regardless of sexual orientation.
One of the changes includes eliminating time-based deferrals for men who are sexually active with other men. This has been a point of controversy over the need for blood donations.
The announcement comes as the FDA says January and February are usually when blood banks and organizations are at their lowest supply.
Under the changes, new questionnaires would ask all donors, regardless of sexual orientation, about any new or multiple sexual partners in the last three months.
The FDA says it could impact the person’s ability to donate blood at that time depending on their answers.
The proposal also states there'd be no change in deferrals when it comes to people who test positive for HIV or who take medication to prevent HIV infections.
The FDA says these proposals fall in line with policies that are already in place in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom.
The proposal is still in the draft phase, which will follow a 60-day public comment period, and then consideration of comments by the agency before making final decisions.
The new move is also being applauded by the New York Blood Center which says it has advocated for this change.
The New York Blood Center says this change would take anywhere between six to 12 months to implement after the final approval. this is due to software updates and staff training.