To the Editor: Since it began operations in 1987, the NMDP has adhered to FDA policies for blood and tissue donation. Until 2005, tissue organizations such as the NMDP used blood donation guidelines stating that a man who had sex with another man any time since 1977 could not donate blood products. The NMDP changed its policy in 2005 to align with the FDA Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/P) donor eligibility guidelines, which defined a 5-year deferral period. Current NMDP public-facing materials note that those who are at highest risk for communicable diseases cannot donate, and the materials direct questions to individual donor centers or the NMDP. The health history form used to register potential donors explicitly states the 5-year policy of the NMDP.
Navarro WH. Donor Policies for Stem Cell Transplantation. JAMA. 2010;304(5):524–525. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1074
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