RRVBC could benefit from change in federal blood donation policies

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 10:04 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Life-saving blood is always in high demand and a change in donation policies could allow more donors for one local blood bank.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a statement on Wednesday it’s considering a shift from blanket assessments to individual risk assessments to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

This change would allow anyone that meets the requirements to donate blood regardless of gender and sexual orientation. In 2020, the FDA revised its longstanding guidelines after an increased need during COVID-19. Instead of waiting an entire year, gay or bisexual men can donate after three months of no sexual contact.

“It should be based on science, it should be based on risk, it should not be a blanket statement to say men who have sex with men should not be able to donate blood,” said CEO of Rock River Valley Blood Center, Lisa Entrikin.

Men in same-sex monogamous relationships would have the chance to donate without going through the three-month waiting period.

“They want to give blood, we would love them to give blood, and right now they can’t. So it would be a huge change and a huge benefit to the blood supply in our community,” said Entrikin.