Canadian Blood Services has announced that Health Canada has approved their request to remove eligibility criteria specific to men having sex with men.
On December 15th, Canadian Blood Services requested the removal of the three-month deferral period for sexually active men who have sex with men. It will now be replaced with behaviour-based screening questions.
Health Canada says a panel of six experts reviewed the new sexual behaviour-based screening criteria.
“The experts indicated that the proposed modelling was acceptable and that the estimated risk was extremely low and not significant. They also concluded that the new screening criteria do not affect the safety of the blood system compared to the current 3-month deferra,” said Health Canada in a release.
Central Alberta Pride responded to the announcement on social media.
The donor deferral period for men who have sex with men has been changed three times since 2013.
The new donor screening approach will be in place by September 30, 2022.