Canada lifts ban on gay men donating blood

May 22, 2013

Canadian health authorities lifted Wednesday what was effectively a ban on gay men giving blood, announcing new rules making men who have not had sex with men in the past five years eligible.

Under the previous regime, men who had sex with men since 1977, even once, were not allowed to donate.

The strict code was designed as a precaution against the spread of disease through blood transfusions, based on epidemiological data that showed a higher risk of in, for example, men-to-men relations than through heterosexual or lesbian sex.

It has been modified at the request of the Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec as part of their licensing renewal to collect and distribute blood products in Canada.

In a submission to Health Canada, the blood operators demonstrated that they can detect disease-causing agents in through screening, and that therefore a total ban on gay men giving blood was unnecessary.

Laurent McCutcheon, founder of a gay support center in Montreal, called the announcement "a step in the right direction" but said should be assessed solely based on risk factors, not abstinence.

Explore further: No uptake of grant relating to ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men

Related Stories

No uptake of grant relating to ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men

May 2, 2011
Canadian researchers may be biased since a half-million dollar research grant to possibly change the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood has not been accessed, states a Salon article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

Women's immune systems remain younger for longer

May 14, 2013
Women's immune systems age more slowly than men's, suggests research in BioMed Central's open access journal Immunity & Ageing. The slower decline in a woman's immune system may contribute to women living longer than men.

Sexual agreements among gay couples show promise for HIV prevention

March 26, 2013
The majority of gay men in relationships say they establish a "sexual agreement" with their partner, primarily to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, according to a University of Michigan study.

Study finds gaps in services for heterosexual men with HIV

July 27, 2012
Heterosexual men make up a small but growing number of people infected with HIV in Canada. Yet a new study has found that many of them feel existing HIV-related programs and services don't meet their needs and are geared ...

Recommended for you

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

January 8, 2018
From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which—in their view—remains woefully ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
2.3 / 5 (3) May 22, 2013
So? They can test for HIV in the nation's blood supply? Or does that no longer matter?
freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2013
Anything that harms a Homosexual self esteem must be banned. It doesn't matter truth and safety is less important than the Homosexual community being affirmed.

Many people have died and have become infected by AIDS BECAUSE the homosexual lobby wanted homosexuals to donate blood and delayed the adoption of the regulation banning homosexuals from donating.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.