The ban on gay men donating blood in Canada will finally be lifted…but with very strenuous restrictions that will likely prevent most gay men from donating anyway.
To be able to donate blood as a gay man in Canada, you cannot have been sexually active for the past five years; anything more than that and the ban is still in place.
While established due to the horrific tainted blood scandal of the 80’s where thousands of Canadians became infected with HIV via-infected blood transfusions, the ban’s new policy is still outdated considering the progress being made throughout the world today.
According Dr. Robert Cushman, director general of the biological and genetic therapies directorate at Health Canada, the reasoning behind the five-year ban is that after five years there is no difference in blood between a gay man and a straight man,
Currently the federal blood donor agency is asking that Canadians “bear with them” as they work through the process of making gay male blood donation a more palatable one.