KERN COUNTY, CA – On May 11, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the final guidance regarding blood donor eligibility using a set of individual risk-based questions for all blood donors regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Houchin Community Blood Bank (HCBB) is committed to achieving an inclusive process for our donors to ensure that everyone is treated with equality and respect.
HCBB is committed to making these eligibility changes as quickly as possible; however, the development of a new industry health history questionnaire and implementation of the guidance requires coordination with multiple organizations, including the FDA and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). HCBB’s targeted date for implementation is scheduled for the first week of January 2024, but will be implemented sooner if resources allow.
“HCBB has been anticipating this final guidance for reducing the risk of HIV and will work diligently towards implementing the eligibility changes,” says Jonathan Bautista, Chief Executive Officer at HCBB. “The use of an individual donor assessment is significant progress in making blood donations more inclusive. HCBB welcomes as many people as possible to contribute to a safe and sufficient blood supply for patients in need.”
The blood community remains committed to continuing to address systemic barriers, further modify practices and policies, and welcome a diverse donor base that more fully and equitably reflects and serves the U.S. population.
The safety of our blood donors and the patients in need of lifesaving blood products is HCBB’s top priority. Our blood collection facilities are looking forward to welcoming new and returning donors!