Our staff is committed to being sensitive to the needs of all potential blood donors.
We believe that every potential blood donor should be treated with fairness, equality and respect. Our top priority is the safety of both our volunteer blood donors and our patients to whom blood products are transfused. Blood products represent a potential risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens. The safety of the blood supply relies on accurate donor histories and medically supported donor deferral criteria.
Blood donor eligibility
To donate blood for transfusion, prospective blood donors must meet FDA-mandated donor eligibility criteria.
These established eligibility criteria must be followed by all U.S. blood collection centers during the donor screening process.
Donation criteria and questions on the health history questionnaire are designed to ensure that the blood collection process is as safe as possible for the donors as well as for the recipients of blood.
Health history screening
During the pre-donation health history screening, we use a questionnaire developed by the blood industry’s professional organization, AABB, and approved by the FDA to assess an individual’s health history. Health history questions are based on past and current behavior risks (for example, travel, medication, sexual activity, etc).
Sexual activity questions are based on specific behaviors, not on sexual orientation. The terms, “have sexual contact with” and “sex” are used in some of the questions, and apply to any sexual activities (vaginal, oral or anal), regardless of whether a condom was used.
Sexual partners in the last three months
The FDA guidelines states to defer for three months if the following applies:
A “new sexual partner” includes the following examples:
- Having sex with someone for the first time OR
- Having had sex with someone in a relationship that ended in the past, and having sex again with that person in the last three months
In the past three months:
- Have had sexual contact with a new partner and have had anal sex
- Have had sexual contact with more than one partner and have had anal sex
Screening is now “individual risk” based with no connection to gender.
Learn more about blood donation eligibility ›