The American health authorities (FDA) proposed on Friday January 27 a new relaxation of the restrictions governing blood donations from homosexual and bisexual men since the 1980s, by abolishing the period of prior abstinence of 90 days, in favor of a individual assessment.
The restriction was total until 2015, then access subject to a period of sexual abstinence of one year and reduced to three months after serious shortages of blood during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019. donors were forced to do so, even as an exclusive couple. But under the new guidelines, they will have to complete a questionnaire and state whether they have had new or multiple sexual partners in the past three months, as is customary for heterosexuals.
“Maintaining a safe supply of blood and blood products is paramount”, said in a press release Robert Califf, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And “this proposal for an individual risk assessment regardless of gender or sexual orientation will allow us to continue to use the best scientific procedures”. But these measures must still be debated publicly, before a decision is made in 60 days.
According to a report by the Williams Institute, a UCLA law school think tank, this relaxation of criteria would increase the blood supply by 2 to 4 percent per year.
People on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), HIV preventive treatment, or other medical treatment remain subject to a three-month deferment period. Under injectable PrEP, within two years of the last injection. The ban remains in effect for people who have tested positive for HIV.