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FDA Proposes Blood Donation Changes

By Charlotte Robinson, January 28, 2023

The FDA has proposed changes to blood donation policies. The new guidelines would focus on sexual behaviors by any prospective donor regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The FDA is expected to adopt the proposal after a 60-day public comment period. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “These changes are 40-plus years in the making & are a tremendous leap forward toward elevating science over stigma. GLAAD & leading medical experts have long been advocating for guidelines that see & treat LGBTQ people the same as any other person, including as potential donors who want to help others. The announcement will ease historic discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, help alleviate the national blood shortage & opens the door for all eligible LGBTQ people to give blood & save lives. The U.S. moves closer to joining the growing list of countries that already welcome blood donations from gay & bi men without restrictions. LGBTQ leaders will continue to advocate until the FDA enacts those science-based, safe & stigma-free guidelines.” Jose Abrigo Lambda Legal HIV Project Director concluded, “It should be noted however, that much more work needs to be done to follow the science…We must be conscious to not further stigmatize these safe sex practices & uplift individuals taking precautions. With the national blood shortage, everyone should be given equal opportunity to help their neighbors & save lives. Unfortunately, these proposed measures don’t fully achieve that. We applaud the CDC for taking these welcome first steps & look forward to working with them to improve this proposed regulation & to continue to destigmatize & equalize blood donations." 

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