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Making Progress

I am excited to be writing about news that will impact thousands of gay and bisexual blood donors. You may have already heard, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is changing its guidelines which will ease restrictions on gay and bisexual male blood donors. The FDA says they will move to a more targeted questionnaire about a donor's sexual history regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is in line with policies already in place in other countries like the United Kingdom and Canada. This new approach recognizes that anyone can contract infectious diseases like HIV and eliminates outdated restrictions for gay and bisexual men.

The highly anticipated change will allow more people to donate and save lives, provided all other eligibility criteria are met. As someone who is gay and married, this topic hits close to home for me. The new FDA guidelines may allow me and thousands of others to donate blood. Finally!

So what happens next? We are working to implement the new guidelines, but it will take time to update our computer systems and donor history questionnaires and properly train our staff. At Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, it is our hope to complete this process and start welcoming new donors as soon as possible. I know the doctors and the leadership team here are committed to moving this change along as fast as the process allows!

There is no substitute for blood, and the need is constant. As I mentioned in last month’s blog, donors love giving blood because they want to save lives and help their community. Gay and bisexual men want to do the same. All of us desire to contribute to our community and experience a sense of belonging. I’ve spoken to tons of blood recipients, and they're extremely grateful to the people who give blood. Visit our LGBTQ+ section on our website for more information. Please remember to Commit for Life and help save lives

Posted by Michael Iliopoulos on in Committed Hearts

About the Author

Michael is the Communication Coordinator at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and is passionate about storytelling. He uses his writing skills to spread the word about our life-saving work. Whether he is developing content for the blog, website, newsletters, or other communications materials, he is continually working to raise awareness about the importance of blood donations and engage our donors, volunteers, and the general public. 

Have a story idea? He'd love to hear from you! Send him an email at
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