MBC will introduce a new donor screening process on Monday, September 25th, based on Individual Donor Assessment (IDA), not sexual or gender identity.

MINNESOTA — Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) today announced that on Monday, September 25th, it will implement the new donor screen process that will focus on individual donor assessment. This comes following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final guidance establishing a blood donor screening process based on Individual Donor Assessment, not sexual or gender identity. Interested individuals can find detailed information regarding these changes at mbc.org/ida.

In preparation for this change, MBC has completed the adoption of the donor history questionnaire, updated and validated computer systems regulated by the FDA, trained staff, and updated operational procedures.

“For decades, we have strongly advocated for scientifically-based changes to the FDA policies regarding gay and bisexual men and this recent decision by the FDA is a huge step toward making blood donation more inclusive,” said Kathy Geist, Vice President at Memorial Blood Centers. “We look forward to welcoming these new donors to our centers and blood drives, especially following a tough summer with low donor turnout.”

All U.S. blood centers are regulated by the FDA and must adhere to their donor eligibility policies. In 1983, the FDA instituted a lifetime deferral on blood donations for gay and bisexual men in order to reduce the chance of HIV in the blood supply at a time when testing was limited or non-existent. In 2015, the FDA revised this policy and moved to a 12-month deferral for men who have sex with men in response to comprehensive testing capabilities and data demonstrating safety in shortened deferral. This policy was revised again in 2020 to the current 3-month deferral.

The change is based on data from the “Assessing Donor Variability And New Concepts in Eligibility” (ADVANCE) Study, which sought to determine if different eligibility criteria could be used focusing on each donor’s individual risk behavior rather than their sexual orientation. The updated criteria reflect the scientific data gathered as part of the ADVANCE Study.


Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) has been saving lives since 1948 as an independent nonprofit. In 2023, MBC is proud to celebrate its 75th anniversary of saving lives through blood donation. MBC relies on the local community to donate blood to help ensure a safe and stable blood supply is available to area hospitals and other partners throughout the country. With operations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, MBC is a division of New York Blood Center Enterprises, serving communities across the country. For more information, call 1.888.GIVE.BLD (1.888.448.3253) or visit mbc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn