Explaining the MSM Deferral
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for determining donor eligibility requirements. Blood Bank of Hawaii strictly adheres to FDA regulations. The FDA requires all blood centers to question donors about activities that are associated with an increased risk of exposure to infectious agents. Men who have had sex with a man are eligible to donate blood one year after last sexual contact. Women who have had sex with a man who has had sex with a man are not eligible to donate blood for one year.
In light of current donor testing technology, Blood Bank of Hawaii agrees with the medical and blood banking community and supports the change in deferral for men who have had sex with men from a lifetime to one year after last sexual contact. This is more consistent with deferrals for similar HIV risk factors.
Blood Bank of Hawaii supports the use of rational, scientifically-based deferral periods that are applied fairly and consistently among donors who engage in similar risk activities. Safety for our donors and patients is our top priority and we will continue to follow FDA guidelines and strive for 100% safe blood, every day. If you have questions about eligibility, please call our medical team at (808) 848-4745.