In January of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised its donor deferral policy surrounding men who have sex with men (MSM).
On July 26, 2016, the FDA issued another request for comments regarding the MSM donor deferral policy. Current policy permits blood donations by MSM provided that the donor has not had sex with another man during the past 12 months. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and many other countries follow the same policy.
In this request for comments, the FDA is inviting input on “the feasibility of moving from the existing time-based deferrals related to risk behaviors to alternative deferral options, such as the use of individual risk assessment.” The FDA specifically requests scientific evidence and comments on the design of potential studies to evaluate the feasibility or effectiveness of alternative deferral options.
HFA is exploring how and where patient advocacy organizations can continue to be a significant voice in this dialogue, and is monitoring developments in the blood safety area. Look at for more news from HFA as the issue progresses.