Men in a monogamous same-sex relationship will be allowed to donate blood in the Netherlands from September 1, , the Dutch government has announced. For years, gay men in countries around the world have been prevented from being able to donate blood because of the perceived increased risk of them carrying blood-borne infections. But, following research conducted by blood bank Sanquin, the government has decided to expand the donor opportunities for men in the Netherlands. It is therefore important that men who are in a steady relationship with another man can now also donate blood. We are not there yet, but this is a step in the right direction.
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Doctors Press F.D.A. to Let More Gay Men Donate Blood
Here's how you can donate blood, if you're a gay man
All blood donors are required to meet FDA eligibility criteria to donate blood, every time. These eligibility criteria apply to all U. Only an estimated 38 percent of the U. However, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually donates each year. The gender-specific donation criteria and questions on the health history questionnaire are designed to ensure that the blood collection process is as safe as possible for the donors as well as for the recipients of blood.
Why can't gay men give blood?
The FDA is sharing new details on a study it's funding that could lead to the removal of longtime restrictions around blood donations by gay or bisexual men. The first-of-its-kind pilot study aims to gather and present data to the FDA for review by late , ABC News has learned exclusively. A change in this FDA policy would mean that more gay and bisexual men would be able to give blood in the U. The U. The mandate, based solely on sexual preference, required all gay and bisexual men to abstain from sex with men for three months before being eligible to give blood.
A new pilot study funded by the Food and Drug Administration could be the first step toward lifting restrictions on blood donations by gay and bisexual men. Participants must be 18 to 30, have had at least one male sex partner in the last three months and be willing to donate blood. The results could ultimately determine whether the FDA changes its blood-donor history questionnaire, asked of all potential donors to assess risk factors for infection by transfusion-transmissible diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B. Restrictions on certain blood donors date to the early s, during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, when the FDA instituted a lifetime ban on any man who had had sex with another man since That rule, intended to keep HIV out of the blood supply, was replaced in with a year-long abstinence requirement.