LGBTQ+ Donor Information
FDA Proposes Individual Risk Assessment for Blood Donations January 27, 2023
We stand in full support of efforts by our peers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make blood donation more inclusive. The blood community strongly supports the use of rational, science-based deferral periods that are applied fairly and consistently among blood donors. This change upholds the safety of the nation's blood supply. It also aligns with recent changes made in other countries.
Our top priority is the safety of our donors and the patients we serve. We look forward to continuing to work with the FDA and key stakeholders as this guidance is brought to full implementation.
For more information on this proposal visit the FDA website
We will update our donor communities on changes as this proposed change progresses through 2023. All current deferrals remain intact until the FDA makes its final decision and resulting process changes are implemented.
LGBTQ+ Blood Donor Eligibility Guidelines
Versiti is committed to fostering an environment of support and inclusion and acting as an agent of change.
We believe in making blood donation more accessible to the LGBTQ+ community and are taking steps to advocate for change at the federal level through ongoing research at Versiti Blood Research Institute. We also stand in full support of efforts by our peers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make blood donation more inclusive.
Our top priority is the safety of our donors and the patients we serve. In 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA made changes to some of its donor eligibility requirements for the LGBTQ+ community. We are required by law to adhere to these guidelines.
In 2020, the FDA revised its criteria for men who have sex with other men (MSM). It states that these donors are deferred from donating blood for three months from the time of their most recent sexual contact with another man.
There is no deferral for women who have sex with other women. However, women who have recently had sex with a gay or bisexual man may be deferred.
Individuals who do not have sex with other people may be eligible to donate.
The FDA guidance states, “In the context of the donor history questionnaire, FDA recommends that male or female gender be taken to be self-identified and self-reported.” This means that you can answer “male” or “female” on the donor questionnaire as you self-identify. Your eligibility is based on the donor criteria of your reported gender.
Our staff members are required to confirm your demographic information, including gender, but if our records have the incorrect gender, you may ask for it to be changed. You do not need to tell Versiti staff that you are transgender.
The deferral for men who have sex with men still applies to trans men and men who have trans men partners.
There are lots of ways to get involved in Versiti’s lifesaving mission, including:
- Hosting a blood drive in your community
- Joining the organ and tissue donor registry
- Volunteering your time
- Making a financial gift toward lifesaving research
- Becoming a community partner
UPDATE: FDA Proposes Individual Risk Assessment for Blood Donations January 27, 2023, for more information visit the FDA website.
According to their website, “The FDA will closely monitor the effects of the current changes over the next few years in order to help ensure that blood safety is maintained. At the same time, the FDA will continue to work in this area and review its donor deferral policies to ensure they reflect the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. This process must be data-driven, so the timeframe for future changes is not something that can be predicted.”
Versiti’s research has been used to support modifying the MSM donor policy to make blood donation more accessible. However, the FDA regulates blood donation requirements at the federal level.
To help support changing these laws, please contact your state’s elected representatives.
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