Men who have had sex with other men within the past 5 years are currently not eligible to join the Be The Match Registry® as a potential marrow donor. This is because men who have sex with other men are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV.
The long-standing exclusion of at-risk groups for HIV from the registry aligns with the policy of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was set to minimize the risk of HIV transmission through blood and tissue donation.
More information regarding the FDA’s tissue donation policy pertinent to men who have sex with men is available on the FDA website (see section IV.E).
We periodically revisit this issue in consultation with our independent Donor and Patient Safety Committee, weighing the risk and benefit to patients in need of a transplant as new information becomes available. The FDA also periodically revisits this issue, and we continue to take into account their guidance in evaluating our own policy.
Other ways to help patients
We appreciate everyone who wants to help patients receive the transplant they need. If you are not eligible to join the Be The Match Registry, there are many other ways to help.