OUTMemphis is partnering with local research investigators to help reach out to gay and bisexual men who may want to participate in a new research study regarding blood donation eligibility.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes blood donor policies that all blood centers in the country must follow, and the current blood donation policy for men who have sex with men (MSM) does not allow donation for three months following the last sex between men.

With pilot study funding from the FDA and in partnership with LGBTQ+ community centers, Vitalant, OneBlood, and the American Red Cross are conducting the study. The pilot study is called Assessing Donor Variability And New Concepts in Eligibility (ADVANCE). The purpose of the pilot study is to assess if specific questions may be able to determine individual risk in MSM. The results could provide the FDA with evidence to consider changes in policy from the current three-month MSM deferral.

The study is being conducted in eight locations in the US, including Memphis. To be eligible to participate in the ADVANCE Study you need to be a man who has had sex with another man within the three months before enrolling in the study. In addition, there are other criteria that you must meet for the study.

You can follow-up with Catherine Sullivan at Vitalant if you would like more information:

[email protected] and/or (901) 569-4567. For more information and to sign up please go to ADVANCEstudy.org