FDA overturns 30-year policy on blood donations by gay men
Woman studies blood (Shutterstock www.shutterstock.com)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday finalized a rule that will allow gay men to donate blood 12 months after their last sexual contact with another man, overturning a 30-year policy in which men who had sex with men could not donate blood.

"Ultimately, the 12-month deferral window is supported by the best available scientific evidence, at this point in time, relevant to the U.S. population," Dr. Peter Marks, deputy director of the FDA's biologics division, said in a statement.

Several countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, have 12-month deferrals.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio)