Maintaining a safe and diverse blood supply is one of the highest priorities for the MGH Blood Donor Center. We strongly support the use of rational, science-based deferral periods that are applied consistently among blood donors, and that treat all potential donors with fairness, equality and respect.

The FDA (which regulates all US Blood centers) is working with the blood community and LGBTQ+ organizations on studies that could lead to a significant change in donor eligibility. The “Assessing Donor Eligibility and New Concepts in Eligibility” (ADVANCE) study is an important step towards updating the eligibility criteria for blood donation.

We encourage you to view details about the study at

Can gay or bisexual men donate blood?

Yes, however, per the FDA guidelines, a man who had sex with another man (MSM) is not eligible to donate for three months from the last MSM encounter. Furthermore, a woman who has had sex with a man who has sex with a man is not eligible to donate for three months since the last sexual encounter.

Can lesbians or bisexual women who have sex with women donate blood?

Yes, per FDA guidelines there is no deferral for women who have had sex with other women.

Can transgender or intersex individuals donate blood?

Yes, per FDA guidelines there is no deferral for transgender or intersex individuals. Donors can self-identify their gender selection. The deferral for men who have had sex with men still applies to trans men.

I tried to donate blood in the past and was turned away due to MSM encounters. Can I donate now?

As long as your last MSM encounter was more than three months ago, you are eligible to donate.

I am a man in a same-sex marriage for over ten years; can I donate blood?

The three-month deferral still applies regardless of relationship status. You must wait three months from your last MSM encounter.

I am currently taking medications to prevent HIV infection (PrEP or PEP such as Truvada, Descovy, Tivicay, Isentress, or Apretude). Can I donate blood?

No. Anyone taking Truvada (tenofovir), Descovy (emtricitabine), Tivicay (dolutegravir), or Isentress (raltegravir) will be deferred for 3 months since last dose, and anyone taking Apretude (cabotegravir) will be deferred for 2 years since last dose.

I feel this policy is discriminatory against the LGBTQ+ community. How can this be changed?

The FDA must weigh blood donor inclusivity versus the safety of the blood supply. We encourage you to reach out to the FDA to help support changing these laws. We also encourage you to find out more information at