FDA updates blood donation policy to include gay, bisexual men

May 12, 2023

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday loosened restrictions on blood donations by men who have sex with men, a change that could ease blood shortages by allowing more people to donate. The agency said it will recommend a series of “individual risk-based questions” that will be the same for every donor, regardless of sexual orientation, sex or gender. Gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships will be allowed to donate blood. Under current FDA guidelines for donating blood, men who have sex with men are permitted to donate blood after a three-month deferral period in which they abstain from sexual encounters with men. Under the final guidance issued Thursday, all prospective blood donors will answer a series of individual, risk-based questions to determine eligibility.