WASHGINTON – In response to an urgent need for blood donors, the Food and Drug Administration is changing donation guidelines effective immediately.
The changes should make it possible for many more people to give blood than before.
The FDA is loosening guidelines put in place during the h-i-v epidemic that prevented many gay men from donating blood.
Until now, male donors would have been deferred to wait for a year after having sex with another man.
Now there is only a three-month waiting period. The same shorter period applies to donors who have had tattoos or piercings.
It also applies for people who have traveled to countries where there is exposure to malaria, the waiting period has also been reduced.
Until now people who spent time in European countries or military bases where there was a risk mad cow disease had to wait.
Now, the waiting period for those potential blood donors has been eliminated.
The American Red Cross says they have imposed safety practices to protect donors when they give blood.
The FDA says Coronavirus is a respiratory illness and it is not believed to be transmitted by blood.