Sumary of Canadian Blood Services to recommend end to ban on men who have sex with men donating blood:
- An end to the ban on gay and bisexual men from donating blood — promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015 — is set to be recommended within weeks in favour of new screening criteria based on sexual history and behaviour.
- Canadian Blood Services is preparing to ask Health Canada to allow it to scrap questions about gender or sexuality, basing screening on higher-risk sexual behaviour instead.
- Our proposed criteria will aim to precisely and reliably identify those who may have a transfusion-transmissible infection, especially in the window period, regardless of gender or sexual orientation,” said Catherine Lewis, a spokeswoman for Canadian Blood Services, who declined to comment on the specifics of the recommendation.
- Currently, men volunteering to give blood are asked if they have had sex with a man in the last three months.
- The blood service says it is preparing to cite evidence from countries that do not ask donors such questions, as well as research on risk of HIV transmission, in its submission to Health Canada within the next six weeks.
- ” The way the screening is currently set up lacks nuance, and also doesn’t address people who are transgender, two-spirit or otherwise don’t confirm to binary genders, said Nathan Lachowsky, one of several researchers whose work will inform Canadian Blood Services’ application.
- “That simplifies the system and makes it more accessible to more Canadians.
- ” U.K. recently changed criteria The U.K. criteria for blood donation, which Blood Services says it has been considering along with that from other countries, does not include questions about sexual orientation.