The week of Aug. 7, 2023, celebrated a landmark change for the American Red Cross and blood donor Ralph Galvan. Due to updated FDA blood donation eligibility guidelines no longer based on sexual orientation, Galvan was newly eligible to partake in the lifesaving gift of blood donation.
This change means that all potential donors will see the same questions related to donation eligibility through a new standard donor history questionnaire all blood collection organizations in the U.S. will use and will be assessed based on their own personal risk factors, not on sexual orientation.
“I was part of the ADVANCE Study that helped change blood donation policy,” said Galvan. “As a result, I was able to donate blood the week the new policy went into effect. It felt good. I got do something to help somebody else; to help save a life.”
The Red Cross celebrates this historic move as significant progress and remains committed to achieving an inclusive blood donation process that treats all potential donors with equality and respect while maintaining the safety of the blood supply. The Red Cross is committed to achieving further progress and will continue to provide data to the FDA in support of making blood donation even more inclusive.
The Red Cross welcomes everyone who wishes to be part of our humanitarian mission. You can learn more about these updates as part of our Eligibility FAQs. There is also information specific to the LGBTQ+ community on our LGBTQ+ Donors page.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/la or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA.