On June 8, the American Red Cross will implement changes to donor eligibility criteria announced earlier this spring by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in its updated guidance for human immunodeficiency virus, malaria and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or “mad cow.” We welcome these changes, which we hope will allow more individuals to donate much-needed blood, and ensure we can meet patient needs throughout this pandemic and beyond.
Male donors who would have been deferred for having sex with another man (MSM);
Female donors who would have been deferred for having sex with a man who had sex with another man;
Donors with recent tattoos and piercings; and
Others who would have been previously deferred.
The Red Cross believes blood donation eligibility should not be determined by methods that are based on sexual orientation. We are committed to working toward achieving this goal, and are encouraged by this FDA eligibility change which we view as a scientifically based interim step to achieving our greater goal.
We encourage individuals who believe they may now be eligible to give under the new FDA guidelines to visit RedCrossBlood.org to learn more about donor eligibility requirements that help ensure the safety of both blood donors and blood recipients.
It’s important to emphasize that we continue to work diligently to remove current Red Cross deferrals under the former eligibility policies which will be updated over the upcoming weeks and months. These deferrals cannot be removed at our blood drives or donation centers due to onsite system access limitations. People may contact our Red Cross Donor and Client Support Center at 1-866-236-3276 for information about donor eligibility and deferrals.
The Red Cross also remains steadfast in our commitment to ensure that every blood recipient has access to safe, lifesaving blood products when needed.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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