Donor Eligibility Criteria
Blood providers are often asked about the donor eligibility criteria for men who have had sexual contact with other men. While all donor eligibility criteria are set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), blood centers have opportunity to provide input that may help shape future changes to U.S. FDA policy. We have joined other blood centers across the country to actively work with U.S. FDA to update the existing deferral for men who have had sexual contact with other men during the 90 days prior to their desired date of donation. For a comprehensive overview, see ImpactLife Responds to Calls for Change to Donor Eligibility Criteria. To review frequently asked eligibility questions, click here.
Call to Action
While U.S. Senators and Representatives do not have a role in setting policy for U.S. FDA, members of Congress can be highly influential in terms of keeping issues of importance to their constituents before the FDA. We urge all donors who wish to see a change in the deferral criteria to voice their opinion to their elected representatives in Congress. We have provided a sample message below.
Find my Senators & Representatives See ImpactLife Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Initiative
Dear Senator ______ or Congressman / Congresswoman ________:
I am writing to urge a change in policy of the United States Food and Drug Administration concerning eligibility for blood donation by men who have had sexual contact with other men. Currently, the FDA bans men who have had sex with men (MSM) from donating unless they have been abstinent for at least three months. The deferral criteria for MSM is based on questionable science and perpetuates a stigma against gay and bisexual men, while limiting the already scarce U.S. blood supply.
I want to ask that the FDA reevaluate this outdated and discriminatory blood donation policy, and instead implement a policy that is based on individual behavior and factors for risk. It should be the goal of the FDA to maintain the safety of the blood supply while permitting blood donation by gay and bisexual men who are willing to donate and can safely do so based on their individual risk factors.
blood industry MSM updates
Government of Canada United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Care
frequently asked eligibility questions
Scroll down to review frequently asked eligibility questions from the LGBQTIA+ community. See additional donor criteria here.