December 20, 2015

PFLAG National Statement on FDA Final Rule on Blood Donation Deferral Policy regarding Gay and Bisexual Men and Transgender People (issued on Dec. 21, 2015)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Kohm, Interim Executive Director, PFLAG National | (202) 467-8180

The FDA final rule is long overdue to remove the lifetime ban for MSM and transgender people but leaves intact a flawed concept that remains a vehicle for discrimination and stereotyping. A blanket ineligibility policy if someone has had MSM sex within the year regardless of their individual risk assessment is replacing an outdated ban with a stigmatizing celibacy test. PFLAG fully supports the goal of having the highest quality blood supply and that our policies should be based on science -based practices but is disappointed that individual risk assessment as the policy construct was examined but did not shape the final rule. We believe that evidence-based decisions must be applied universally to be fair and that a health history review that measures individual risk should be the gateway for eligibility to contribute to our nation’s blood supply.

Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally organization. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has more than 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit