You are here

Updated Donor Eligibility Criteria Based on FDA Recommendations

August 2020 FDA Updates Regarding Donor Eligibility Criteria

On July 31, 2020, a revised donor history questionnaire and accompanying materials recognized in guidance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be in place. A blood donor’s eligibility to donate blood and blood components is determined in part by a physical assessment and the donor’s answers to questions concerning medical history and risk factors associated with exposure to, or clinical evidence of a relevant transfusion-transmitted infection, and other conditions that may adversely affect the health of the donor or the safety, purity, or potency of the blood or blood components or any product manufactured from the blood or blood components.  

If you were permanently deferred in the past, you will be asked a few additional questions during your donation process so we can remove the deferral from your record. We are excited to have more people join our lifesaving family! 

2020 Blood Donor Eligibility Changes

Medications Added

Blood donors will not be able to donate blood if they have taken any of the following in the past 3 months:

1. Medications to prevent or to treat HIV infection

  • PrEP—Pre-exposure prophylaxis

  • PEP—Post-exposure prophylaxis

  • ART—antiretroviral therapy 

2. Rinvoq – for Rheumatoid arthritis 

Medications Removed

1. hGH 

2. Bovine Insulin 

Updated Blood Donor Defferals

1. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD or Mad Cow) related deferrals: (UPDATED: July 2022Click here)

a. People who lived in certain European countries for 5 years or more from 1980 to the present will no longer be deferred (with a few exceptions below)
b. Individuals who have spent 5 years or more in France or Ireland from 1980–2001 will be deferred

i. France includes the island of Corsica.
ii. France does not include the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion.
iii. Ireland (the Republic of Ireland) does not include Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. 

Note: The deferral for the United Kingdom has not changed: individuals who spent 3 months or more in the United Kingdom (i.e., England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, or the Falkland Islands) from 1980-1996 will be deferred from donating blood.  

c. Members of the U.S. military, civilian military employees, or dependents of a member of the U.S. military who were stationed on a military base in Europe from 1980 to 1996 will no longer be deferred from donating blood.  
d. People with a history of bovine-derived insulin use will no longer be deferred from donating blood.  

2. Men who have had sex with men (MSM): a reduction from a one-year deferral to three (3) months  

3. Women who have sex with a man who had sex with another man: a reduction from a one-year deferral to three (3) months.

4. Travel to a malarial endemic area (as long as you were not a resident of a malarial endemic country): a reduction from a one-year deferral to three (3) months

5. Tattoo or piercing in an unlicensed facility, needlestick exposure, transfusion: a reduction from a one-year deferral to three (3) months

6. Non-prescription injection drug*: a reduction from a permanent deferral to three (3) months  

7. Sexual contact with a prostitute*: a reduction from a one-year deferral to three (3) months 

8. Exchanging sex for money, drugs or other payment*: a reduction from a permanent deferral to three (3) months

*Please note the deferrals for someone who has ever had sexual contact with someone who falls into this category is still in place. 

Note: Changes were made after review of scientific and epidemiologic data including the experiences of other countries, and the FDA has concluded that current policies regarding the above donor eligibility criteria can be modified without compromising the safety of the blood supply.

For more information about FDA Recommendations for Donor Eligibility, please check out the links below:

Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products 
Recommendations to Reduce the Possible Risk of Transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease by Blood and Blood Components 
Revised Recommendations to Reduce the Risk of Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria