All blood donors are required to meet FDA eligibility criteria to donate blood, every time. These eligibility criteria apply to all U. Only an estimated 38 percent of the U. However, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually donates each year. The gender-specific donation criteria and questions on the health history questionnaire are designed to ensure that the blood collection process is as safe as possible for the donors as well as for the recipients of blood.
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Many countries have laws, regulations, or recommendations that effectively prohibit donations of blood or tissue for organ transplants from men who have sex with men MSM , a classification of males who engage or have engaged in sex with other males, irrespective of their sexual activities with same-sex partners and of whether they identify themselves as bisexual or gay. Temporary restrictions are sometimes called "deferrals", since blood donors who are found ineligible may be found eligible at a later date. However, many deferrals are indefinite meaning that donation are not accepted at any point in the future, constituting a de facto ban. Even men who have monogamous relations with their same-sex partner are found ineligible. Restrictions vary from country to country, and in some countries practice of protected sex or periods of abstinence are not considered.
Can people in LGBTQIA+ communities donate blood?
Previously, men who have sex with men MSM were unable to donate blood. They would have to abstain from sex for 12 months to be eligible for donation. However, challenges to blood supply and campaigns to alter eligibility have resulted in changes to the donation criteria. Donating blood is vital to public health as it is a safe, quick, and easy way to help doctors and nurses save lives.
Blood donation rules for gay and bisexual men are being relaxed across the UK, in what the government is calling a "landmark change". The new criteria focuses on individual behaviours, lifting a blanket ban for any men who have had sex with men in the last three months. It means men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship will now be able to donate blood at any time.