Howard Brown Health commends FDA on Removal of Discriminatory Identity-Based Deferrals for Blood Donation
(Chicago, IL, May 11, 2023) – Today, the FDA released their new guidelines for blood donation eligibility that will finally allow more gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men to donate blood. The new guidelines are a critical step forward in moving away from the stigmatizing and outdated deferrals that prevented gay and bisexual men from donating based solely on identity. Now, all potential donors will be assessed for HIV risk with the same set of questions regardless of sexual orientation and gender, and deferral criteria specific to men who have sex with men have been removed. This is a long-needed update to blood donation policy that will continue to safeguard the U.S. blood supply while expanding the pool of eligible donors and reducing decades-long stigma and discrimination against gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. We will continue to advocate for the FDA to conduct research and explore additional strategies to reduce stigma and improve blood donation policy, particularly for those on PrEP. For members of the community wanting to donate blood, please note that it may take blood donation centers some time to fully implement this new guidance.
Rooted in LGBTQ+ liberation, Howard Brown Health provides affirming healthcare and mobilizes for social justice as an agent of change for individual wellbeing and community empowerment. Howard Brown envisions a future where healthcare and transformative social policies actualize human rights and equity for all. Howard Brown offers primary care, behavioral health, and social services at 11 clinics across the city, regardless of ability to pay.
Wren O’Kelley, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing