Canada lifts lifetime ban on gay men giving blood

Canada is lifting a nearly 30-year-old ban on gay men giving blood, though for the time being only those who are abstinent will be allowed to donate.

Gay Flag 2016

The new policy, which Canadian Blood Services hopes to have in place by mid-summer, will allow men to donate blood if they haven’t had sex with another man for five years before the donation.

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The agency understands that the length of this deferral won’t satisfy all critics. But agency executive Dana Devine said this is the first step in what Canadian Blood Services hopes will be a continued effort to work out what is the best approach to incorporating gay men into the donation community.

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Photo by Benson Kua [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons