FILE – LGBTQ2+ facing bans and lengthy deferral periods in order to donate blood has been an issued tackled by advocates across the country. (Black Press Media files)

Gay men can now donate blood after 3 months of abstinence: Health Canada

The deferral period was first reduced to one year in 2016, from five years

Canada has reduced the deferral period for gay and bisexual men when donating blood, in its latest move toward eliminating the deferral period entirely.

Since 2016, men have had to abstain from sex with another man for one year in order to donate blood.

On Wednesday, Health Canada announced the deferral period will now be three months.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said in a statement that reducing the original lifetime restriction in 2016 did not result in any increase to HIV-positive blood donations.

READ MORE: B.C. union’s petition calls for end to ban on gay men donating blood

The request to eliminate deferrals was first made by the Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec. Following the request. the federal government gave the organizations $3 million to pursue research on the issue.

Other countries with similar deferral perios include England, Scotland and Wales.


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