We Are Blood, the sole provider of blood to more than 50 hospitals and medical facilities in Central Texas, will implement the Food and Drug Administration’s updated guidance on blood donor criteria Sept. 6, which will expand LGBTQ donor eligibility.
According to a news release, the new guidance will allow for more Central Texas community members to donate blood and protect the lives of local patients, as every donation can save up to three lives.

The details

The updated FDA guidance:
  • Removes time-based deferrals and eligibility questions specific to males who have sex with males (MSM) and females who have sex with MSM
  • Includes new questions related to individual risk-based behavior that will be the same for every donor, regardless gender or the gender of sexual partners
However, individuals who are taking prescribed pre-exposure prophylaxis or post-exposure prophylaxis medications will be deferred for three months from their last dose taken orally or two years if injected, the release from We Are Blood states. These medications can be effective for minimizing the risk of HIV transmission during sexual activity, but the risk of transmission remains during a blood transfusion due to the volume of blood.

The backstory

According to a news release, the updated guidance was issued following the yearslong ADVANCE study conducted by the FDA in partnership with community blood centers across the country. The new guidance is also similar to those already in place in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Going forward

Anyone who has attempted to donate at We Are Blood before and is deferred under the prior guidance but may now be eligible under the new guidance can complete a re-entry form. Other prospective donors can schedule an appointment online or call 512-206-1266 to donate at one of the four Austin metro donor centers, or find one of We Are Blood’s mobile drives.