“It means that it opens up a lot more veins for people to donate blood, and we just have to get the word out that now you can," LeMay said.
Under this new donor screening process, all donors answer the same eligibility questions regardless of gender or sexual orientation and will be assessed based on individual risk factors, not on sexual orientation. This change eliminates the FDA’s previous policy that deferred men who have sex with men from giving blood.
“It was very easy. I made appointment. The I went online and got my Rapid Pass. So, I just came in, answered a few questions. They did a health history. It took maybe a total of 10 minutes – and here I am on the table,” continued LeMay.
While we celebrate this significant milestone, we also recognize there is more work to be done. The Red Cross is committed to working with patient and LGBTQ+ advocates, as well as industry stakeholders, to achieve an inclusive blood donation process that treats all potential donors with equality and respect, and ensures that a safe, sufficient blood supply is readily available for patients in need.