LGBTQ+ Donor Information

LGBTQ+ Blood Donor Eligibility Guidelines


Versiti is committed to fostering an environment of support and inclusion and acting as an agent of change.

We believe in making blood donation more accessible to the LGBTQ+ community and are taking steps to advocate for change at the federal level through ongoing research at Versiti Blood Research Institute. We also stand in full support of efforts by our peers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make blood donation more inclusive.

Our top priority is the safety of our donors and the patients we serve. In 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA made changes to some of its donor eligibility requirements for the LGBTQ+ community. We are required by law to adhere to these guidelines.

In 2020, the FDA revised its criteria for men who have sex with other men (MSM). It states that these donors are deferred from donating blood for three months from the time of their most recent sexual contact with another man.

There is no deferral for women who have sex with other women. However, women who have recently had sex with a gay or bisexual man may be deferred.

Individuals who do not have sex with other people may be eligible to donate.

The FDA guidance states, “In the context of the donor history questionnaire, FDA recommends that male or female gender be taken to be self-identified and self-reported.” This means that you can answer “male” or “female” on the donor questionnaire as you self-identify. Your eligibility is based on the donor criteria of your reported gender.

Our staff members are required to confirm your demographic information, including gender, but if our records have the incorrect gender, you may ask for it to be changed. You do not need to tell Versiti staff that you are transgender.

The deferral for men who have sex with men still applies to trans men and men who have trans men partners.

The FDA requires donors to select either male or female when completing their donor questionnaire. You do not need to tell Versiti staff that you are intersex.

We welcome all prospective blood donors and understand that there’s a difference between biological sex and gender. However, the FDA requires donors to select either “male” or “female” when completing their donor questionnaire.

Gay and bisexual men are eligible to donate three months after their last sexual encounter with another man.

Yes. If your permanent deferral was because of MSM contact, you may be eligible to donate now. Visit our Blood Donation FAQ page to learn more.

Unfortunately, no. The FDA requires all men, regardless of their relationship status, to wait three months from their last sexual encounter with another man before donating.

Yes. This is an FDA regulation and we are required by law to abide by it.

Unfortunately, no. We are required to abide by FDA regulations.

If it has been more than 3 months since your last sexual encounter with another man, you may be eligible to donate blood. Visit our Blood Donation FAQ page to confirm your eligibility.

No. People who identify as male and have sex with another man will be deferred from donating for three months under the new FDA MSM policy.

Yes. People who identify as female and have sex with a man are not deferred under the MSM policy. Visit our Blood Donation FAQ page to confirm your eligibility.

Donor eligibility criteria for transgender donors aren’t affected by whether or not you’ve had any kind of gender-affirmation surgery.

There is no deferral for HRT that has been prescribed to you by a physician. However, if you are taking acne medication to treat side effects of testosterone HRT, you may be deferred. Check the medication deferral list  to confirm your eligibility.

Yes. Every donated unit of blood, platelets and plasma undergoes rigorous testing for a number of infectious diseases, including HIV, hepatitis and more. If a unit of blood passes these tests, it is considered safe for patients.

No. If you’re currently taking any medication to prevent HIV infection, or have taken any in the past three months, you are deferred from donating. These medications include PrEP, PEP, TRUVADA and DESCOVY. Check the medication deferral list  for additional information about medications.

There are lots of ways to get involved in Versiti’s lifesaving mission, including:

According to their website, “The FDA will closely monitor the effects of the current changes over the next few years in order to help ensure that blood safety is maintained. At the same time, the FDA will continue to work in this area and review its donor deferral policies to ensure they reflect the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. This process must be data-driven, so the timeframe for future changes is not something that can be predicted.”

Versiti’s research has been used to support modifying the MSM donor policy to make blood donation more accessible. However, the FDA regulates blood donation requirements at the federal level.

To help support changing these laws, please contact your state’s elected representatives.

 

Every day, patients in your community need blood transfusions to survive and thrive. They rely on the generosity of donors like you, who help ensure a safe, healthy blood supply. Make an appointment to donate blood today.

Explore donation opportunities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

 
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