Did you know that Canada’s blood donation policies still discriminate?
Canada’s health care system faces a chronic shortage of donated blood and blood products.
But despite this shortage, Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Quebec still discriminate against men who have sex with men.
This ban covers all blood and tissue donation, including post-COVID plasma donation.
A new policy also bans trans women who have not had gender-affirming surgery, who also have sex with men, from donating.
These policies are based on stigma, not science and their continued existence represents a broken promise from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau pledged to end the ban during the 2015 federal election.
The current policy ignores:
- Scientific innovation in HIV and Hepatitis C testing since the 1980s.
- That anyone can engage in high-risk sexual behaviours.
- That people exposed through heterosexual sex are most likely to be unaware of their HIV infection.
- The prevalence of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP), a pharmaceutical drug that reduces risk of contracting HIV, in Canada.
Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Quebec should ask all donors the same questions, and those questions should be based on specific high-risk sexual behaviours, not who you love or what your gender identity is.
Help Unifor fight to end the ban.