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Monday, July 12, 2021

Orlando's The Center part of new study on blood donation restrictions on men who have sex with men

Posted By on Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 2:36 PM

  • Photo via The Center Orlando/ Instagram

Men who have sex with men have faced additional restrictions on blood donation for decades. Even under recently relaxed guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic, bisexual and gay men have to wait three months from their last sexual encounter to give blood.

While there's no sign of that changing in the near future, a pilot study could mark the first step toward a new policy and Orlando's LGBTQ+ hub The Center is taking part.

The ADVANCE study is asking LGBT centers around the country to give questionnaires and accept samples from 2,000 men. The study's new questions are geared toward evaluating personal risk of HIV infection rather than broadly deferring donations by men who have sex with men.

"It could mean men who have sex with men who present to donate would be assessed based upon their own individual risk for HIV infection and not according to when their last sexual contact with another man occurred," the project announced on its website. "The ADVANCE study is groundbreaking because it’s the first time a study is being conducted that could result in individual risk assessment for men who have sex with men to donate blood."

The study is seeking men between the ages of 18 and 39. Those who are chosen to take part will be compensated. More info on the study is available here.

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