ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has plans to change regulations for gay and bisexual blood donors, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The FDA will announce those updates in the coming months, according to people familiar with the plans, the report says. They will allow monogamous men who have sex with men to donate after an individualized risk assessment.

Virginia Red Cross Communications Director Jonathan McNamara welcomes potential new donors.

“Our real focus is hopefully working with the FDA to get to a future where blood donation eligibility is not determined by sexual orientation so we can increase our pool of donors to safely get blood to our hospital partners,” he said.

LGBT groups have the same goal and say many regulations are based on the stigma around HIV and AIDS.

“My initial reaction is cautious optimism, we need to see what’s actually going to be in the guidelines,” said Peter Volosin, president of the Roanoke Diversity Center.

“There shouldn’t be any difference between a gay man or a straight man or straight woman giving blood because ultimately the blood will be tested,” he said.

McNamara encourages those who may want to learn more about Red Cross research and the safety of gay and bisexual blood donors to see their ADVANCE study, funded by the FDA.