FDA Will Finally Let Gays Donate Blood—If They Wait 3 Months After Having Sex

Before this, the wait period was a year.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has relaxed another senseless regulation to help fight COVID-19: Gay and bisexual men will now be able to donate blood more easily.

U.S. medical centers have been facing a major blood shortage, as drives were canceled en masse amid the spread of the coronavirus. The updated FDA rules are expected to remain in place after the COVID-19 emergency has been lifted.

Previous agency guidance mandated that men who have sex with men abstain from that behavior from a full year before donating blood—even though every blood donation is screened for HIV. The FDA has now eased that period to a three-month deferral, which makes much more sense given current testing capabilities. When the U.K. instituted a similar three-month deferral, it saw no increase in HIV-infected blood. As I wrote Monday:

Paramount to this discussion is the safety of the blood supply—endangering that is certainly not worth sparing any one group's hurt feelings. Calls to remove deferrals entirely for potentially risk-prone individuals make little sense. But current testing capabilities do support relaxing gay and bisexual men to a three-month deferral rate, which may even increase compliance among donors who would otherwise lie in the face of ridiculous waiting periods.

Those with new tattoos and piercings and those who have recently been to malaria-endemic areas will also be deferred for three months, as opposed to the previously mandated yearlong waiting period.

Until 2015, the FDA enforced a lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men. That rule may have made sense in the 1980s, when it was instituted against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis. But blood testing capabilities have made leaps and bounds sense then. Every donation is tested for the full slate of blood-borne infectious diseases, including syphilis, hepatitis, human T-lymphotropic virus, and HIV.

Although those newly infected with HIV may initially test negative, current methods can detect the virus 9 to 11 days after transmission, rendering the yearlong deferral nonsensical. The regulation was particularly confusing in light of the fact that the screening procedure does not discriminate against heterosexuals engaging in high-risk sexual practices. A man who has slept with several women in the span of a week would be able to donate blood without question; a gay male whose last sexual encounter was six months past would have been turned away.

NEXT: Can a Negative COVID-19 Test Be Trusted?

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  1. FDA Will Finally Let Gays Donate Blood—If They Wait 3 Months After Having Sex … Before this, the wait period was a year.

    So, was the FDA lying to us then or are they lying to us now?

    1. Yes?

    2. It is a big lie to say that homosexuals can do anything other than some kinds of mutual masturbation.
      Sex, like marriage, is something that can only be between a male and a female – as nature has decreed it.
      It is pandering to these delusional people to call what they do to each other, “sex”.

    3. So, was the FDA lying to us then or are they lying to us now?

      Wow. Even Reason’s resident B-teamer, playing retard on behalf of SJWs, wasn’t this disingenuously retarded.

      Do you go to the grocery store or the gas station, pick up the loaf of bread or gallon of milk that you could’ve had for a lower price last week or the week before and scream “Lies! All lies!” at the nearest employee too?

  2. “When was the last time you took a dick in the ass?”

    “Four months ago …”

    “Prove it!”

    1. They actually SHOULD say “dick in the ass” — or, if you prefer, “receptive anal intercourse” — because the HIV risks of fellatio are so much lower.

    2. I take one every payday. Some years I get an extra one on April 15th.

  3. those who have recently been to malaria-endemic areas will also be deferred for three months,

    But their blood will have the quinine in it already!

  4. It’s good that we are focusing on the really trivial aspects of health care at this point. Whether masks work for otherwise healthy people who are distancing, whether gay men should donate blood. I can’t wait for the writeup on refuge camps and how they just want to work but can’t because TDS. But we did get one dismissive article this morning on the unemployment rate, because that’s not too important.

    1. But we didn’t really get an article about unemployment, we got a mention of it amongst a bunch of other crap in the roundup.
      Reason is tabloid trash

    2. Shikha ran an article on how we should give more work visas to combat COVID-19 and I can’t remember who wrote it but there was an article on how decreasing temporary work visas is going to lead to food shortages. Notably there best example was fruits and vegetables because for the most part migrants aren’t employed in growing or harvesting staple crops. I think they also mentioned vineyards.

  5. Remind me to tap by family blood supply if I need blood.

  6. This is so important!

  7. Previous agency guidance mandated that men who have sex with men abstain from that behavior from a full year before donating blood—even though every blood donation is screened for HIV.

    You say that as if those tests have a zero percent false negative rate; they don’t. In fact, the tests are constantly being updated, with HIV RNA testing only supposed to be introduced this year.

    HIV tests have the highest accuracy months after exposure. A year for MSM was a reasonable policy. Three months is cutting it pretty close.

    1. Agreed on all counts. The assumption going is that screening is 100% effective and the counter factual is that people absolutely do still get infected with HIV from donor blood.

      Fortunately (or not), the number is low and the people who do get infected are frequently in situations where infection is preferable to imminent death, but the fact remains that the lower guideline will give more people HIV just as surely as social distancing will infect more people with COVID.

      The absurdity is the obvious oppression vs. the relative “oppression”. ‘Don’t have sex for 3 mo. because the virus can defintively kill anyone who contracts it’ vs. ‘don’t go out in public for an undetermined amount of time because if you pass the virus on, it might eventually get to someone over the age of 70, who’s already dying of something, and it will kill that person’.

  8. NTTAWWT this seems like a personal crusade lol

  9. Welp, this is going to lead to a lot of unnecessary deaths.
    If people are going to have to fall victim to some bugchaser’s blood, I hope it’s the virtue signalers who pushed this stupidity, and not some innocent kids.

  10. Three months with no sex. What are they, married?

    1. It’s legal now!

  11. What difference does it make? You’re still going to be infected with the donors homosexuality. Fortunately I watch NFL games so I’m immune.

    1. NFL? You mean that thing with all the sweaty men wearing skin-tight pants showing their butt cracks, big shoulder pads like Joan Crawford, padded crotches, and eye shadow? With the tight ends and the wide receivers and everyone trying to penetrate deep into the End Zone? Where they begin each round with a group hug in which they discuss the details of the choreography? Where guys would often celebrate with a dance after they ‘score’?

  12. If a male-to-female transgender has sex multiple male-to-female transgender partners less than 3 months ago, how is that categorized?

    1. Since you brought it up, as a hate crime. If you’re in the Seattle area call 911 and report yourself.

  13. I’m still not clear on how a virgin or heterosexual that’s never shared needles is still permanently disqualified just for using them, but people who have bloody anal sex aren’t. If they’re going to lie, they’ll just deny usage entirely. Or they can at least set a time limit like for gays… they want to claim someone who tried shooting up once decades ago with a needle used only on themselves is ineligible forever, but someone who took 50 raw dicks up their bleeding ass 91 days ago is good to go?

    1. Because telling gay men their behavior is high risk hurts their feelings and we cannot have them feeling bad about themselves. All those other categories can go pound sand.

      1. The Constitution gives gay people a right to donate regardless of what virology, biology, or medicine has to say. Churchgoers who want to congregate during the COVID pandemic are delusional idiots who don’t understand medicine.


  14. Or they could just… lie.

  15. Yes, you can test blood, but it costs time and effort and resources to take the blood and test it. Pre screening out a high risk group may have a better cost benefit ratio than taking and storing blood that a higher percentage from that demographic would have to be discarded. The impression given is that this effort to let sexually active gay men give blood has more to do with a politically correct effort to eliminate any stigma associated with homosexuality than good practice in obtaining a clean blood supply.

  16. The rules are relaxed, but you have to avoid same sex sexual contact for 3 months. Any man in a relationship, is not going to be able to donate. So a man that had same sex encounters in the past, could donate, but not a gay man in a relationship. So I am not sure how many people will actually be able to donate. Imagine if the rules were, you can don’t blood only if you haven’t had heterosexual sex in the last 3 months? We all go through dry spells, but we probably don’t want to publicize that.

  17. I mean I hate to be this guy. But the fucking gov. has effectively suspended vast swaths of the first amendment and has denied millions of people a livelihood. Is it too much to ask for some fucking perspective on that?

  18. Let me know what you think about this after you’ve had a few close friends die from transfusions.

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