Although it is now under review, Canada’s policy on gay blood donations has been to turn away any man who has had sex with a man since 1977.  in other words, the only gay men who can donate must have been celibibate for 34 years.

Surely this is extreme.

Other countries are way ahead of us on this matter.  In November Britain is introducing a policy to let gay men give blood if they have not had sex in the last 12 months.  Many other countries have abandoned lifetime bans.

Britain’s Advisory Committee on the safety of blood calculated that with a lifetime ban , the theoretical risk of a unit of tainted blood slipping through was one in 4.41 million .  with a one-year deferral period,  the risk would be one in 4.38 million, almost identical.

We had a blood scandal in Canada when thousands of people were infected.

But science and other countries are moving in a more liberal direction.

Is it high time that Canada allow gay men to give blood?

What do you think?

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