On April 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an updated guidance regarding blood donation deferrals for a number of risk factors, including travel to malaria-risk regions, tattoos, and risk of transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and HIV (which includes guidance around men who have sex with men). These changes, which are based on scientific health data, have been proposed in the wake of a national decrease in blood donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Transmission of Malaria
This change reduces deferral from 12 months to 3 months for travel to a malaria-endemic area. This does not, however, change deferral criteria for those who have lived in an endemic area.