Call for blood donations in Canada: gay men are shocked to be excluded

Appel aux dons de sang au Canada: des homosexuels sont choqués d’être exclus

Appel aux dons de sang au Canada: des homosexuels sont choqués d’être exclus

The ban for homosexuals to donate blood or plasma was implemented in 1992, in the wake of the scandal of contaminated blood in Canada where thousands of Canadians were infected with the aids virus (HIV) or hepatitis C after a blood transfusion or have received blood products.

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June 13, 2020 10: 06

Updated at 11h02

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Call for blood donations in Canada: gay men are shocked to be excluded

Teresa Wright

The canadian Press

OTTAWA — While the pandemic COVID-19 continues to infect people across the country, the public health authorities are asking Canadians to make donations of blood, but this call excludes homosexuals who are not abstinent for three months.

This Health Canada standard is decried and a new democrat member of parliament from British Columbia, Randall Garrison, added his voice to those who rise to ask the prime minister Justin Trudeau to deliver on the promise that the liberals made in 2015 to lift the ban.

According to Mr. Garrison, the measure is discriminatory against gay and bisexual men, and fosters prejudice against transgender people. He believes that “the ban perpetuates homophobia and transphobia”.

For the member of parliament for the riding of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, this measure stigmatizes people who are in a relationship for a long time, like him, has had the same partner for 20 years, without being able to make a blood donation.

On the web site of Héma-Québec, it is explained that the measure “frequency of HIV infection which remains today much higher among men who had a sexual relationship with a man that in the general population.

The prevalence of HIV is about 15 % in this group compared to well less than 1 % among heterosexuals or lesbians.”

The ban for homosexuals to donate blood or plasma was implemented in 1992, in the wake of the scandal of contaminated blood in Canada where thousands of Canadians were infected with the aids virus (HIV) or hepatitis C after a blood transfusion or have received blood products.

The standards have been relaxed over the years to reduce the period of abstinence required for donors from gay blood.

The election of 2015, which resulted in Justin Trudeau to take power, the liberals had promised to end the ban on blood donation for men who have had sex with partners of the same sex.

Since that time, the liberals have invested $ 3 million in research and implementation of a model based on the behaviour of individuals and not sexual orientation.

During his press briefing daily to take stock of the pandemic COVID-19, Friday, Mr. Trudeau was asked why this promise has not yet been held.

“Since the beginning, we recognized that we needed to change the protocols to allow blood donations from everyone. This is why we have invested in Héma-Québec and blood services canadian millions of dollars so that they can do the research, do the studies necessary to ink in the science and in the security of the new measures that they could adopt.”

The election promise has surfaced before the elections of 2019, but there has still been no progress.

A motion by mp Randall Garrison filed earlier this week in the Commons urges the federal government to remove the ban, particularly due to the need for blood donations during the pandemic of COVID-19, the second that he presents on this topic for the past six years.

He emphasizes his misunderstanding about this situation.

“There are shortages of blood. This Week is national blood donation and canadian blood is everywhere in the media in Victoria to implore people to donate blood. However, one of the ways of increasing the reserves of blood products it is by removing this prohibition,” argued Mr. Garrison.

Prime minister Trudeau recognized that the current process is discriminatory towards the LGBT community.

“We hope that we will have good things to announce shortly,” he added.

Canadian blood services encourages Canadians who have recovered from the COVID-19 to give the plasma in the framework of the research and clinical trials in the country on the use of plasma convalescent in the fight against the new coronavirus.

Le Soleil

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