Statement: Blood donation deferral period drops to three months: a step in the right direction, falls short on achieving equality

Capital Pride welcomes the announcement made by Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, wherein she informed Canadians of Health Canada’s decision to require men who have sex with men to abstain for three months before they can be eligible to donate blood, rather than one year.

The Canadian Red Cross Society introduced a donor eligibility criterion that excluded all men who have had sex with a man even once since 1977. This criterion was embedded into Health Canada regulations in 1992.

Capital Pride is of the view that although the blood donation deferral drop from one year to three months is a step in the right direction, it remains a discriminatory policy that targets two-spirit, gay, bisexual and queer men, trans women and men who have sex with men (“2SGBTQ/MSM”). Therefore, it falls short on achieving equality.

In recent months, Capital Pride has engaged with members of parliament to advocate for the removal of the restrictions against 2SGBTQ/MSM wishing to donate blood. Capital Pride continues to call on the federal government to follow countries like Chile, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland and others, who have completely repealed discriminatory blood donation bans for 2SGBTQ/MSM.

Capital Pride Board of Directors