Trump Administration relaxes blood donation restrictions for gay men & others

Press Release

April 2, 2020

Deferral Period Shortened from 1 Year to 3 Months

Washington DC… In light of the public health emergency caused by COVID-19, the Trump administration today released new guidance that would allow more gay men and others to donate blood. Instead of a 12-month deferral for men who had sex with another man, which was instituted by the Obama administration, the new guidance would reduce the deferral period to only 3 months. In response to this major development, Carl Schmid, Executive Director, HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, issued the following statement:
“We thank the Trump administration and the Food and Drug Administration, under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Hahn, for following the science and moving quickly in this time of a national emergency to increase our country’s blood supply. This inequity for gay men has long been raised by advocates and members of Congress, which has been heightened during this time of severe blood shortages. I had the opportunity to raise this issue with Dr. Hahn personally when we met last year. At the time, he was surprised to hear of the antiquated policy. I am sorry it took a national health emergency to make it happen, but the action taken today will help save thousands of people’s lives this year and in years ahead.”
Carl Schmid
(202) 365-7725

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