LGBTQ+ Donor Information
Versiti welcomes newly eligible blood donors August 28, 2023!
FDA Issues Final Guidance on Individual Risk Assessment for Blood Donations May 11, 2023.
The blood community strongly supports the use of rational, science-based deferral periods that are applied fairly and consistently among blood donors. The release of this final guidance is the next step in a lengthy, evidence-based process of welcoming previously deferred individuals as blood donors.
This change by the FDA is in alignment with changes made in other countries.
For more information visit the FDA website
How is the change more inclusive?
Under this guidance, all prospective donors will be asked about new and/or multiple sexual partners in the past three months. This reflects the fact that diseases caused by infectious agents such as HIV could be contracted by anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.
- If they answer no to both new and multiple sex partners, there is no risk of a newly acquired transfusion-transmitted infection. They will not be asked about the type of sexual contact and will move on to the next question
- If the donor reports having a new or more than one sexual partner in the past three months, there is some risk of a newly acquired transfusion-transmitted infection, so they will be asked if they’ve had anal sex over the past three months with any of these partners. If yes, then they will be required to wait three months from when they most recently had anal sex to donate.
- Those who report having a new or more than one sexual partner and had anal sex in the past three months will be temporarily deferred from donation.
- If they have not had anal sex with the new and/or multiple partners and meet all other eligibility criteria, they will be able to donate. By asking all potential donors the same questions about their sexual behavior, this change recognizes that diseases caused by infectious agents such as HIV could be contracted by anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.
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. We are required by law to adhere to these guidelines.
The new 2023 FDA Guidance no longer defers men who have sex with men and deems this gender-based question irrelevant to establishing blood donor eligibility. Instead, eligibility is based new guidelines that evaluate all donors equally regardless of gender or preferred partners and consider anal sex with new or multiple partners in the last three months regardless of sexual orientation.
There is no deferral for women who have sex with other women.
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 at the donation site that you are transgender. However, if you have previously donated at Versiti and have changed your name as well, it is important to link your old donation record with your current one. You may request this update prior to your donation by calling Versiti customer service.
The 2023 FDA guidance based on behavior applies to trans donors regardless of gender identity. The new Donor History Questionnaire is gender-neutral and will pose all questions to all donors regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Transgender individuals are welcome to donate blood.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective medication regimen used for HIV prevention. In people taking PrEP or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), low levels of HIV may be missed by current testing methods. The blood community relies on accurate HIV testing as part of its multilayered approach to safety. There needs to be more research on how PrEP and PEP affect HIV testing
Donate in Wisconsin
Every day, patients in your community need blood transfusions to survive and thrive. They rely on the generosity of donors like you, who help ensure a safe, healthy blood supply. Make an appointment to donate blood today.