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The Food and Drug Administration is expected to relax restrictions on how gay men donate blood.

Reporting by the Washington Post indicates the federal government is preparing to scrap its guidelines requiring gay and bisexual men to abstain from sex before giving blood. The new policy, reportedly, would allow all people in monogamous relationships to donate.

“So the new central question will be: Have you had anal sex with someone new in the last three months? It applies to everyone, meaning heterosexual women could potentially be excluded for the first time for doing anal,” tweeted Fenit Nirappil, one of the three Post reporters who worked on the story published Jan. 26. 

The public will be given time to comment before the FDA adopts its new regulations. The update is further dismantling of rules put in place in response to the AIDS epidemic.

In 2015, the FDA lifted a lifetime ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men, which health experts and LGBT activists had long considered to be archaic and homophobic. 

Presently, all men who have sex with men are required to abstain from sex for three months before giving blood. Since 1985, all blood donors have been tested for HIV. 

Upon implementation, the new rules will bring the United States in alignment with current policies in Canada and the United Kingdom.


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