Canadian Blood Services reviewing U.S. policy change on gay male blood donations

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      In the wake of the U.S. easing a ban on gay men donating blood, Canadian Blood Services stated that they will watch the U.S. developments before changing their policy.

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on December 23 that it would remove a lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, which was implemented in 1983 during the onset of the AIDS epidemic (which was closely associated with gay and bisexual male communities). However, it is maintaining a restriction on men who have had sex with men within the past 12 months.  

      Canadian Blood Services lifted their lifetime ban on gay men in July 2013. They reduced restrictions to men whose last sexual contact with other men was over five years ago.

      CBS issued a statement to explain that they have been following the U.S. policy change and will collect data and hold consultations before making any further changes to the Canadian policy.

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      Stupid Policy

      Dec 29, 2014 at 6:35pm

      This Policy by the Canadian blood Services is Stupid for the following reasons...

      (1) this is question on a form & anyone can lie on a form therefore stupid policy,

      (2) this is voluntary information with zero verification therefore stupid policy,

      (3) screen blood for known pathogens (HIV, Hep C, etc etc) gay or not does not matter therefore stupid policy by Canadian Blood Services.

      If I need blood to save my life I don't give a flying fuck if the donor was Gay or not.

      L Leeman

      Dec 30, 2014 at 11:41am

      According to CATIE, "An estimated 242,251 Canadians were living with hepatitis C (2007). That is the equivalent of eight out of every 1,000 Canadians".
      Many were infected through a Canadian blood transfusion.

      A full course of antiviral treatment for HEP C costs the Canadian taxpayer $100,000 PER PATIENTT Not including any treatment that might follow due to existing damage caused prior or during treatment ( such as liver transplants, or chemo for liver cancer).

      We aren't talking even about HIV numbers here.

      The commenter 'STUPID POLICY' is correct, if I read it right. It's just too expensive and devastating to be WRONG about the HIV, HEP C status of a donor. Blood is blood, infected blood is infected blood. Asking if someone is a gay male is using the wrong tool to attempt transmission.

      GIven the costs of being wrong about a donor's blood status, the answer is not new reporting policy, it is full AUTOMATION of blood or donor testing.

      "Are you willing to allow your donated blood to be tested" should be the only question needed on the questionnaire.