The Food and Drug Administration is still keeping its gay blood donation deferral period amid the coronavirus pandemic, but has lowered the threshold for donation from 12 months to 3 months since last sexual contact with another man. In an announcement Thursday, the agency said it would shorten the recommended deferral period to three months for men who had sex with another man, females who had sex with a man who had sex with another man, and those who received recent tattoos and piercings. While the FDA said the recommendations were pushed out for “immediate implementation” amid the time of “critical need,” blood donation establishments do not have to implement the changes. “We expect that the updated guidance and alternative procedures will help increase the number of donations moving forward, while helping to ensure adequate protections for donor health and maintaining a safe blood supply for patients,” the agency said.
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