LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a change for more inclusive blood donations.
If approved, it would allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood.
James Franklin told 8 News Now he is happy about the prospect to donate blood again.
“When people come out and say, ‘we need blood help us’, we are able to heed that call and help again,” he shared.
Christina Madison, CEO, and founder of public health pharmacist said the proposal comes at a time when there is a critical blood shortage.
“We want our LGBTQ brothers and sisters to know that they are able, and we welcome them, and we want them to be able to donate,” Madison stated.
The proposal would allow bisexual donors in monogamous relationships along with doing away with the current three-month abstinence requirement for men who have sex with men.
Instead, donors will be screened through a questionnaire surrounding sexual behavior.
In a statement, the American Red Cross said it is “pleased the FDA has proposed to determine blood donor-eligibility using a gender-inclusive, individual risk-based assessment regardless of sexual orientation.”
“The last time I was able to donate blood was in the mid-90s and that’s because of restrictions,” Franklin said.
The FDA banned all blood donations from gay men during the aids epidemic.
Blood banks already test blood for infectious diseases and will continue to do so.
“This is one of the last discriminatory issues we have to deal with to become equal members of the community,” Franklin said.
The FDA process allows 60 days for public comment on the draft guidance. More information can be found HERE.