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Gays, bisexuals with steady partners can now donate blood without waiting period

Most gay and bisexual men who are in a steady relationship with another man, or any woman in a relationship with a bisexual man, will no longer need to abstain from sex for three months before being cleared to donate blood.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will switch to a gender-inclusive risk assessment of all blood donors to reduce the risk of HIV in the blood supply.
Under the latest guidelines, all potential donors would need to complete an individualized risk assessment regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
If a person discloses having a new sexual partner or multiple partners in the past three months, they’ll be asked if they’ve had anal sex with them. If they have, it will prompt a three-month deferral from donating blood.
Blood bank Bloodworks Northwest said it has long supported overturning barriers to donating blood. The American Red Cross, too, has advocated for the same.
The FDA has gradually relaxed donor rules since 2015. In 1983, it had set a lifetime blood donation ban against all men who ever had sex with another man out of concerns about the spread of HIV, the then-emerging virus which can develop into AIDS.
Anyone who’s tested positive for HIV remains permanently banned from donating blood.



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