The Food and Drug Administration announced it will lift the current lifetime ban that prohibits any man who has ever had sex with another man from donating blood, The New York Times reports. A new policy will allow men to donate blood if they’ve not had sex with another man during the previous 12 months.

In a statement sent out by the FDA, the agency explained it will issue a draft guidance detailing the change in 2015. The current ban has been in place since 1983, which was the beginning of the HIV epidemic.

Experts said, according to the Times, that lifting the ban is long overdue and could boost the annual blood supply by as much as 4 percent. European countries including Britain instated a similar 12-month restriction in 2011.

In response to the FDA announcement, AIDS organization Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) released a statement saying the new policy promotes fear and stigma against HIV and gay and bisexual men.

GMHC’s statement reads in part: “Today, the FDA finally announced that gay and bisexual men may finally be allowed to donate blood—but only if they are celibate for one year, regardless of their risk for HIV. However, this new policy does not require heterosexual blood donors to be celibate for one year. Some may believe this is a step forward, but in reality, requiring celibacy for a year is a de facto lifetime ban.”