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FDA Statement on Blood Donor Deferral Policy for Men Who Have Sex with Men

On December 21, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released revised guidance regarding deferral criteria for men who have sex with men (MSM), changing its blood donation policy from an indefinite deferral to 12 months since the last sexual contact with another man.

To read the full FDA final guidance, visit

Stanford Blood Center Policy

As a member of America’s Blood Centers, Stanford Blood Center supports the recommendation to change the indefinite deferral for MSM to a 12-month deferral as recommended in the final guidance. As stated in a joint statement released in December 2015 by AABB, America’s Blood Centers, and American Red Cross, “This policy change aligns the MSM donor deferral period with those for other activities that may pose a similar risk of transfusion-transmissible infections.”

As an FDA-regulated and AABB-accredited organization, Stanford Blood Center adheres to current policies, rules and regulations, as well as best practices in the industry. Maintaining a safe and available blood supply continues to be our highest priority.

Additional information about SBC’s current MSM deferral is available at

Next Steps

Stanford Blood Center is planning to implement the FDA’s revised MSM guidance by the end of December 2016. This implementation requires significant changes to our operations, including updating donation database systems, procedures and training. Our implementation planning is underway and will continue in the months to come.

This is an industry-wide change. Blood centers across the country are undergoing the same process of planning and implementation, though exact implementation dates may differ. We appreciate the community’s ongoing partnership as we plan for implementation.

We are committed to keeping our community informed and will revise this page as we have updates.