Health Canada has finally approved the elimination of a blanket ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men.
In 1992, Health Canada introduced a ban on men from donating blood who have had sex with a man, even once, since 1977. The ban was later replaced with a five year deferral period.
Health Canada has made several changes to the donor deferral period over the past decade; five years in 2013, one year in 2016, and three months in 2019.
According to Canadian Blood Services, the new donor screening method will be implemented by September 30, 2022.
Canadian Blood Services had requested Health Canada to lift the ban in December of last year, arguing for a system of screening based on their individual histories and behaviors as opposed to gender or sexual orientation.
All blood donated in Canada is screened for transmissible diseases before it can be distributed to hospitals, no matter the donor’s gender or sexual orientation.
Click here for information on how to donate to Canadian Blood Services.