Canadian Blood Services to Review Policy on MSM

A motion was passed in September for the Canadian Blood Services to review their policy which excludes “men who have sex with men” (MSM) from giving blood. The new policy would reduce the lifetime exclusion to between 5 and 10 years, meaning male-bodies people who have had sex with other male-bodied people within the specified time frame will still not be allowed to donate. The CBS plans to have a request to Health Canada for approval of the policy change by March 2012.

“In the past, our own LGBTTQ working group has helped us understand, explore and communicate on this issue. We will be tapping into the expertise of specific group members to identify participants for the consultation, understand the environment and communicate respectfully and effectively,” Ron Vezina, the director of communications for CBS, told Xtra! on November 1. He also stated that CBS will have committees at both regional and national levels during their research and that Egale, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian AIDS Society will be invited for consultation.

Sources: Xtra!, Canadian Blood Services