Thursday April 2nd the U.S. government (sort of) eased restrictions that previously forbid gay men and several other groups from making blood donations. The FDA’s policy change is not absolute, meaning the guidance for male donors who would have been deferred for having sex with another man has changed the recommended deferral period from 12 months to 3 months. For sexually active gay men, which describes every gay man I know – this change although welcome still falls short. You can read the details about the new policy which aims to allow tens of thousands more Americans to give blood here.
The change in policy is due to canceled blood drives, that have decimated donations to the American Red Cross and other nonprofits that provide most of the blood supply in the country.
For those of you who are not sexually active gay men, consider contacting your local American Red Cross. To learn more and or to schedule a blood donation at Boston’s American Red Cross donation center call 1-800-RED CROSS or go online to schedule a time to donate, here.