Experts react to FDA’s new guidelines on blood donations from gay, bisexual men

FILE - Citizens donate blood. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

New guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will let more gay and bisexual men donate blood.  

Previously, blood banks had restricted men who have sex with other men from donating blood, citing fears of transmitting HIV. 

For years, LGBTQ+ advocates have called the rule outdated and discriminatory. 

"Prior to this it was based upon biases, discrimination and hate," said David Kilmnick, president of the LGBT Network. 

The move is a step in the right direction, Kilmnick told FOX 5 New York. 

RELATED: FDA finalizes blood-donation rules to allow more gay, bisexual men

Moving forward, all potential blood donors will be screened with a questionnaire which evaluates individual risks for HIV, regardless of sexual orientation. 

Dr. Rebecca Glassman with the Westchester Medical Center said the move will help destigmatize potential donors. 

"It will expand the pool of available blood and blood products which in times of crisis is an incredibly important resource," Glassman said. 

The new guidelines and questionnaires for potential donors could also ensure the blood supply is even safer than before, she added. 

The new questionnaires will be based on a donor’s sexual behavior, including recent partners. 

Meanwhile, the FDA said it has worked diligently to ensure it is maintaining appropriate safeguards to protect recipients of blood donations. 

The agency will work with blood donation sites as it implements the new recommendations.