Restrictions lifted at Memorial Blood Centers starting Monday

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Memorial Blood Centers will start welcoming LGBTQIA+ donors starting Monday. Blood donation centers must follow regulations published by the FDA.

In August, the Food and Drug Administration announced that they had updated their guidelines for blood donations. Previously, donations were based on sexual identity.

Gay and bisexual men were not allowed to donate due to the risk of HIV/AIDS. In a press release from MBC, it states “in 1983, the FDA instituted a lifetime deferral on blood donations for gay and bisexual men in order to reduce the chance of HIV in the blood supply. In 2015, the FDA revised the policy and moved to a 12-month deferral for men who have sex with men in response to comprehensive testing capabilities. It was once again revised in 2020 to the current 3-month deferral.”

Now, everyone will be asked the same questions and deferral will be based on an individual basis regardless of gender.

After examination, conducting research and collecting data from other nations who have similar regulations, the FDA felt it was not necessary for the old regulations to stay in place. For that information, click here.

Angela Engblom, a manager at Memorial Blood Centers in Duluth says that her and the staff are applauding the work the FDA has done to make this happen.

There is still an ongoing blood shortage nationwide. If you would like to donate, click here. Memorial Blood Centers is open Monday-Friday.