The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that they’ve eased restrictions on blood donations by men who have sex with men in an effort to address blood shortages. The new policy recommends a series of individual risk-based questions that will apply to all donors, regardless of their sexual orientation, sex, or gender. Men who have sex with men in monogamous relationships will now be permitted to donate blood. The previous FDA guidelines allowed gay and bisexual men to donate blood only after a three-month deferral period, which was reduced from the previous 12-month period. Under the new policy, time-based restrictions will be eliminated in favor of a more inclusive approach based on scientific evidence that ensures the safety of the blood supply. All prospective donors will be required to answer a series of individual, risk-based questions to determine eligibility. Donors who report having a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the past three months, and anal sex in the past three months, would be deferred for three months to reduce the likelihood of donations by individuals with new or recent HIV infection.
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