Human Rights Campaign Applauds New FDA Blood Donation Guidance, Calls for Continued Investment in Technology, Research

by HRC Staff

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, applauded the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for implementing a new blood donation policy that moves to an individual donor assessment rather than restrictions based on sexual orientation. While this is a critical step in the right direction, further investment in technologies and research – such as technology to reduce pathogens in red blood cells currently in Phase III Clinical Trials – is needed to enable even more individuals to donate whole blood. In a recent HRC survey, nearly 90 percent of respondents believe the federal government needs to “prioritize investing in more technologies and research to allow more people to donate blood.” The technology exists today to prevent transmission of certain pathogens such as HIV in plasma and platelets.

This new policy ends a decades-old ban rooted in discrimination and bias. We applaud the administration for listening to the community and taking action. While that's a victory, real obstacles are going to remain, especially for gay, bisexual and other same-gender loving men. More can and must be done so that people taking PrEP can donate as well.

These updated guidelines are a real step forward, ensuring that donors are not evaluated simply for being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Science advanced, making it possible for FDA to modernize its guidelines with full confidence in the safety of the blood supply. We’re calling on the federal government to make further investments in research and technology to open opportunities for all Americans to become blood donors.

In the meantime, we look forward to working with blood donation organizations and LGBTQ+ partner organizations to educate the community on the new policy and encourage as many people as possible to donate.

Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign

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