Every year, thousands of willing blood donors are turned away simply because of their identity. In Canada, men who have sex with men and trans women cannot donate blood unless they have been abstinent for three months. It’s a damaging policy, especially now.
For years now, Canada has faced a critical shortage of donated blood, with our national blood inventory far below optimal levels. But rather than screening potential donors through a scientific lens and on a case-by-case basis, Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Quebec continue to use outdated, prejudiced policies which target two-spirit, gay, bisexual and queer men, trans women, and men who have sex with men (2SGBTQ+/MSM).
All Canadians deserve the opportunity to participate in the time-honoured tradition of blood donation, with screening provisions based on science rather than prejudice. It’s well past time for 2SGBTQ/MSM Canadians to be treated as equal citizens. It’s time to put an end to Canada’s discriminatory blood donation ban. Go here to join the campaign.