Stanford Blood Center Adopts New FDA Blood Donation Guidelines for Enhanced Inclusivity

–News Direct–

Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is thrilled to announce the implementation of the updated FDA blood donation guidelines known as the Individual Donor Assessment, effective October 19, emphasizing a more equitable and inclusive donor assessment process.

Dr. Suchi Pandey, Chief Medical Officer for SBC, stated, This historic change in approach to donor eligibility is significant progress. By asking all potential donors the same questions about their sexual behavior, this change reflects the fact that infectious diseases like HIV can be contracted by anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Although we recognize that FDA will continue to review if additional updates can be made, Stanford Blood Center enthusiastically supports this change.

The revamped process underscores a data-centric approach that ensures blood safety. Ultimately, the blood supply is supported by multiple layers of safety, including rigorous testing of blood donors with highly sensitive tests as well as the donor health questionnaire. The data from countries that have already implemented this change including Canada and the United Kingdom have shown that making this change does not put the safety of the blood supply at risk.

Previously, certain sexual behaviors led to donor deferrals, but under the new guidelines, an "individual donor risk assessment" approach is adopted, focusing on high-risk sexual behaviors. Notably, any donor reporting new or multiple partners in the last three months will undergo further assessment, with specific guidelines around deferral periods for those taking PrEP or PEP medications.

SBC has played a pivotal role in advocating for this change over many years, contributing data to the FDA, participating in the ADVANCE Study, and supporting AABB efforts to revise the Universal Donor History Questionnaire (UDHQ). This dedicated effort underpins the FDAs shift in guidance, ensuring a safe blood supply while extending the inclusivity of blood donation.

Stanford Blood Center remains steadfast in its mission to further enhance the policy, continuing to provide valuable data to the FDA for future improvements. This initiative reflects the first steps towards repairing relationships with the broader LGBTQ+ community and invites everyone to participate in this life-saving mission.

Further information about the changes to donor eligibility, resources, and FAQs can be found here.

Donation appointments can be made at, via the SBC app, by calling 888-723-7831 or texting 999-777. Donors should be in good health with no cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms. Be sure to eat well prior to donation, drink fluids, and bring a photo ID.

If donors have been deferred at Stanford Blood Center in the past based upon MSM (Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men) criteria, please reach out to the SBC Resource Nurse at 650-725-7336 to confirm your eligibility and begin the process of requalification prior to coming in to donate. Donors with general eligibility questions can contact an SBC team member for assistance at 888-723-7831, by email at, or by texting 999-777.


Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is an independent, community blood center that supplies blood products and testing services to multiple Bay Area hospitals and is a recognized leader in the fields of transfusion and transplantation medicine. SBC was created at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978 to meet the complex transfusion and transplant needs of Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital Stanford, as well as provide clinical trial services and specialized blood products for researchers. Today, the center remains locally focused, serving community hospitals, patients and donors, while contributing to research and advancement that impact the world at large. More information is available at

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Liza Batallones

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