© 2023 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Central Florida LGBTQ Groups Say FDA Change to Blood Donation Rule for Gay, Bisexual Men Doesn't Go Far Enough

Photo: LuAnn Hunt @luannhunt180
Photo: LuAnn Hunt @luannhunt180

Central Florida LGBTQ groups say they want the federal government to remove restrictions on gay and bisexual men who want to give blood.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has eased those restrictions, but it didn’t do away with them altogether. 

Men who have sex with men now only have to wait three instead of twelve months since their last sexual encounter before they can give blood. The FDA made the change last week because of a nationwide blood shortage.

Hope & Help’s Adam Troy says he’d like to replace the wait time with more detailed questions that determine a donor's risk regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.

“I mean, I think the steps that we need to take is focus on individual risk and just stop making sort of blanket statements that focus on a particular segment of the population.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/13002_LGBTQ-DONOR_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

Orlando’s LGBT+ Center Director George Wallace says as long as this rule is in place, potential donors are being turned away when blood and platelets are needed more than ever.

“I would like to see people no matter what sexual orientation they are to be able to go to the local blood bank and not have to answer those really uncomfortable questions and be able to donate blood and save lives.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/13001-clip-.wav"][/audio]

The FDA also reduced the wait time from twelve to three months for women who have sex with gay and bisexual men and people who have gotten tattoos and piercings.

The changes will remain in effect after the coronavirus pandemic.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
90.7 WMFE relies on donors like you. Your support allows us to provide independent, trustworthy journalism and fact-based content. Show your support today by contributing on a monthly basis or making a single online donation.