Canada moving to end lifetime blood donation ban on gay men

Canadian Blood Services have proposed an end to the country’s lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, recommending that those who have not had sex for five years or more should be acceptable donors

Canada moving to end lifetime blood donation ban on gay men
13 January 2013

Canada looks set to end its lifetime ban on men-who-have-sex-with-men giving blood after a Canadian Blood Services recommendation that the ban be reduced to five years.

In September 2011 the Canadian Blood Services board of directors passed a motion committing the organization to re-examine its policy and in December it recommended to Health Canada that men-who-have-sex-with-men who have not been sexually active for five or more years should be considered acceptable donors.

Health Canada is expected to make an official decision on the recommendation within the next three months, meaning some gay men could be donating by the middle of 2013.

A statement by the Canadian Blood Services indicated that it could be open to a further reduction of the ban in years to come.

‘We see this change as a first and prudent step in incremental change on this policy,’ the Canadian Blood Services statement read.

‘It will be reviewed in the near future as additional data emerge and new technologies are implemented.’

Reacting to the news, AIDS Calgary Awareness Association executive director Susan Cress told CBC News Calgary that her organization would like to see the ban on HIV negative men-who-have-sex-with-men and who practice safe sex removed completely.

‘The emotion of this topic needs to go away and the politics of the topic needs to go away,’ Cress said.

‘We just need to see an evidence-based decision … We have the science that backs that a ban is not something that’s going to secure our blood system, so just remove the ban.

In May of 2012 an Australian Red Cross review recommended that Australia’s ban on gay men giving blood be reduced from twelve to six months, while Mexico became the first country in North America to screen donors based on sexual behavior rather than orientation in December of last year.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Dominica Catholic leader likens gay sex to adultery but calls for it to be legal

Head of Catholics on Caribbean island of Dominica says gay sex leads to ‘spiritual death’ but wants violence and criminalization to end
No thumbnail available

Paper warns of a gay 'infestation' in Ethiopia

A popular Ethiopian daily alleges the United States and Europe are plotting to export, spread and promote homosexuality in Ethiopia
No thumbnail available

NBA season begins with new rules

Anti-LGBT discrimination clause in recent NBA contract
No thumbnail available

Hong Kong launches Asia's first gay workplace inclusion index

More than 70 per cent of the city's LGBTI employees are not out at work
No thumbnail available

Tory MP and wife accused of groping lesbian maid in threesome attempt

British Conservative politician and his spouse have denied discriminating against their lesbian housekeeper
No thumbnail available

Lady Gaga did very good things in 2011

Grammy-winning singer again tops DoSomething.org's list of top 20 celebs
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Laos celebrates first Pride

First LGBT celebration in Laos with help from the US embassy
No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris’ family is, again, adorable for Halloween

Gay couple and kids show off their Alice In Wonderland inspired costumes for a pre-school celebration
No thumbnail available

First non-medical transgender journal launches

Transgender Studies Quarterly, published by Duke University Press, pledges to 'change the way the world thinks about transgender issues' when it launches in 2014