Words: Steve Brown
Canada has reduced the period for blood donations from gay and bisexual men from one year to three months.
During the Aids epidemic throughout the 1980s, the Canadian government – like many other governments around the world – imposed a ban on gay or bisexual men donating blood if they had sex with a man any time since 1977.
It was only in 2013, the government began allowing men to donate blood if they had abstained from gay sex for a five year period.
This was then reduced to one year back in 2016. But now, the Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec – who has been campaigning to reduce the period to just three months – revealed Health Canada has approved the reduction.
In a statement by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, she said: “This is a significant step towards eliminating the deferral period entirely.
“And Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec continue to work towards behavioural-based screening.”