Gay men abstinent for a year cleared by Health Canada to donate blood
Health Canada has cleared the way for gay men who abstain from sex for at least one year to donate blood - a policy shift that falls short of the Liberal Party's election pledge to eliminate the waiting period entirely.
Men who have sex with men are currently barred from blood donations if they were sexually active in a five-year period, a waiting period that advocates call far too onerous and blatantly discriminatory. Before 2013, there was a blanket ban on all donations from men engaged in same-sex intercourse.
Canadian Blood Services, the agency that oversees the national supply of blood and blood products, applied to Health Canada earlier this year to reduce the waiting period. Now approved, the change will take effect across the country on Aug. 15.
It would appear the government didn't want to remove the ban in its entirety in one go. Right now, this new policy falls short of the original promise, hence its broken status. If the policy changes again in the future, it will be updated accordingly.