Men who have sex with men (MSM) are eligible to donate blood if they have not had sexual contact with a man for at least five years;
Current tests can detect most strains of HIV as long as the donor hasn't contracted the virus within 16 days of donation;
Every blood donation has several blood samples taken to test for infectious diseases, blood groups and compatibility;
Studies have recognized that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) are transmittable across all genders and sexualities; and
In countries such as South Africa, home to one of the world’s higher rates of HIV infection, the country’s blood donor agency recently enacted a screening policy that ignores gender and sexual orientation completely.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Health to
1. Adopt a science-based screening process for blood donors using a behaviour-based model that does not discriminate against a specific group of people based on their gender or sexual identity; and
2. Immediately eliminate Canada’s deferral policy for men who have had sex with men (MSM) who wish to donate red blood cells, blood plasma and platelets.
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