During times of chronic shortages in Canada’s blood supply, LGBTQ2+ Canadians want to help save lives. Unfortunately, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) prohibits many LGBTQ2+ individuals from donating blood unless they have been celibate for at least three months.
CIJA’s National LGBTQ2+ Advisory Council has called for this requirement to be removed, noting that it promotes negative stereotypes regarding the LGBTQ2+ community. Canadians must have confidence that our blood supply meets the highest safety standards, but this cannot be achieved through discrimination. The current policy regarding LGBTQ2+ donations should be replaced with a science-based approach rooted in gender-neutral, behaviour-based screening methods. Combined with CBS’ continued testing of donations for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, this new policy would allow for more precise, efficient, and cost-effective screening and would open the door to more Canadian blood donors.
Canceling the three-month celibacy requirement for LGBTQ2+ blood donors, in line with the policies of many other countries, including Israel.