Nebraska Community Blood Bank to begin welcoming LGBTQIA+ donors next week
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) announced it will begin accepting newly eligible LGBTQIA+ donors on Monday.
NCBB will begin implementing their new donor screening process that will focus on individual donor assessment. The change comes following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final guidance establishing a blood donor screening process based on Individual Donor Assessment, not sexual or gender identity.
Additionally, the change was also based on data from the “Assessing Donor Variability And New Concepts in Eligibility” (ADVANCE) Study, NCBB said.
Before the new change goes into effect next week, NCBB said they have completed the adoption of the donor history questionnaire, updated and validated computer systems regulated by the FDA, trained staff, and updated operational procedures.
“For decades, we have strongly advocated for scientifically-based changes to the FDA policies regarding gay and bisexual men and this recent decision by the FDA is a huge step toward making blood donation more inclusive,” Kathy Geist, Vice President at Nebraska Community Blood Bank, said. “We look forward to welcoming these new donors to our centers and blood drives, especially following a tough summer with low donor turnout.”
All U.S. blood centers are regulated by the FDA and must adhere to their donor eligibility policies.
In 1983, the FDA instituted a lifetime deferral on blood donations for gay and bisexual men in order to reduce the chance of HIV in the blood supply at a time when testing was limited or non-existent. Later on in 2015, the FDA revised this policy and moved to a 12-month deferral for men who have sex with men in response to comprehensive testing capabilities and data demonstrating safety in shortened deferral. This policy was revised again in 2020 to the current 3-month deferral, NCBB said.
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