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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 FDA.gov.

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.” Stanford Blood Center also supports the FDA's ongoing effort of gathering additional scientific risk data to determine whether further changes to the deferral policy are warranted in the future.

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 http://bloodcenter.stanford.edu/donate/MSMDeferral.php

Implementation

Stanford Blood Center implemented the FDA’s revised MSM guidance on December 29, 2016. This implementation required significant changes to our operations, including updating donation database systems, procedures and training.

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

If you have been deferred at Stanford Blood Center for MSM activity, and you have not had sexual contact with another man in the last 12 months and would like to be reinstated for community blood donations, please contact our Medical Services department at 650-723-2597 before your donation appointment. Since the reinstatement process can take several days to complete, clearance must be completed prior to your donation appointment.