US to make it easier for gay men to donate blood

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will replace the current three-month abstinence policy for blood donations from gay men.

Current rules allow donation only if a man has not had sex with another man for that period.

Under the new "individual risk-based" draft rules, all potential donors will be asked about new or multiple sexual partners in the past three months.

The FDA hopes this change will encourage more blood donations.

Advocacy groups have for years called the current ban discriminatory against the LGBT community because modern technologies screen blood for infectious diseases.

All blood will continue to be screened for diseases such as HIV, and hepatitis B and C.

The country's ban on donating blood for gay and bisexual men began in the 1980s in an effort to curb the AIDS epidemic.