The intent of ally donation is to create a physical representation of the total amount of blood that could have been donated if the FDA MSM (men who have had sex with other men) policy were different, whether through physical presence at a blood drive location or social media presence.
The FDA’s MSM policy, enacted at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, now recommends an indefinite deferral for MSM to a 12 month blood donor deferral since last MSM contact. This process is intended for individuals affected by this policy, but anyone who is affected by FDA eligibility requirements is invited to participate, as well as those who are morally opposed to donation because of these policies.
Currently men who have had sex with men over the past 12 months are ineligible to donate blood. Ally donation was first introduced at Washington University blood drives in April 2015 in solidarity with students who cannot or are morally opposed to donation because of FDA restrictions. While blood drives are legally bound to follow FDA policy, ally donation creates an opportunity for involvement, awareness, and protest, in hopes of fostering inclusivity.
- Find a friend to donate on your behalf. Arrange a time to join a friend in their donation process. Their entire donation will last about an hour so be prepared.
- When you arrive at the donation site, feel free to sign in to the Ally Donation sheet so that the amount of participation can be calculated and we can show the concrete impact of a policy change.
- Participants can stay with their ally for the entire donation process except for the medical history portion which must remain private because of HIPAA regulations. That said, please be respectful of medical personnel.
- Participants can document their participation by posting on social media with the hashtag: #allydonation
Please note: In the near future, we hope to add a section of our website where Ally Donor participants can formally sign up online and be matched with a donor.
Ally donation will continue at all future drives for the foreseeable future.