US government health officials are lifting the nation’s 32-year-old lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, but major restrictions will remain on who can donate.
The Guardian reports that officials are replacing the blanket ban with a policy barring donations from men who have had sex with another man in the previous year.
While the policy has been criticized by activists, the FDA stance is in line with that of other countries, including Australia and Britain. The US lifetime ban was put in place during the early Aids crisis.
In November, France began to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood — but like in the U.S., donors can only give blood if they’ve been abstinent for a year. Australia, Japan and the U.K. have also adopted nearly identical policies.