The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly slated to lift restrictions on blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men.
However, there's at least one stipulation, The Advocate reported: A gay or bisexual man can donate as long as that person has only had one anal-sex partner in the last three months. (The Washington Post tweeted, "Monogamous gay and bisexual men will be allowed to donate blood under planned FDA guidance, easing decades-long restrictions.")
News of a potential change on blood donations was reported in November. However, an anonymous government official confirmed to the Post that the FDA is moving forward with the change. The new rules should go into effect following a public comment period, likely late this year or early 2024.
In a press release that Windy City Times received, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) praised the FDA and the Biden administration for the move. HRC President Kelley Robinson said the "announcement represents an important first step toward dismantling an antiquated and discriminatory blood donation policy that restricts gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men from donating blood.
"LGBTQ+ advocates and other health advocate leaders have worked for decades to pressure the FDA and other regulatory agencies to update policy and move toward adopting an approach rooted in science, not in identity. So while today's announcement is a victory, it's not the end of the road; there is much more that needs to be done, and we urge the Biden administration to prioritize removing remaining barriers and ask the FDA to move expeditiously while ensuring the safety of the blood supply and a blood donation policy in-line with the science."
The FDA's policy regarding queer men goes back to the beginning of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. In 1985, the agency imposed a lifetime donation ban on men who have sex with other men; however, in 2015, that was changed to a requirement for 12 months of celibacy before donation.
Canada and the United Kingdom have already relaxed restrictions.