The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a recommended change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men (MSM) from indefinite deferral to one year since last sexual contact.

The FDA and other government agencies have evaluated available scientific evidence related to blood donor deferral policy for MSM, including recent epidemiological data and completed scientific studies.

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The proposed change is in line with the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability’s recommendation to make the deferral period consistent with that of other men and women at increased risk of HIV infection. A national blood surveillance system has also been put in place to help the agency monitor the effect of a policy change and to ensure the safety of the blood supply.

A draft guidance issuance of this proposed change is planned for 2015, and will include an open period for public comment.

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