Canadian leader pledges reform of blood donation rules for gay men

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed his annoyance with the restrictions which currently limit gay Canadian men from donating blood.

Trudeau is commonly regarded as an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ community. While accepting a human rights award from the group Egale Canada at the Toronto Hilton, the Prime Minister told audience members that his ruling government was working on the issue.

Trudeau stated that they were “on it” but conceded that he was “upset” that “it’s not there yet.” Current limitations bar bisexual and gay men from donating blood, unless they have abstained from sex for one year.

Before a reform of the stricture in 2016, the waiting period of celibacy was five years.

In contrast, Pink News reported that similar U.K. laws “were relaxed last year, following advances in detection techniques and an increased understanding of HIV. Gay men will be allowed to give blood three months after having sex, rather than a year, as per the previous guidelines. Dr Gail Miflin, medical and research director at NHS Blood and Transplant said the change was based on the latest available medical and scientific evidence.”

According to the Canadian Press, Trudeau said “Our entire government is committed to full equality for the queer community. You have my word on that.”

Reports state that the Canadian Blood Services organization is working on redesigning their screening processes, including updates to how they gather and utilize their data. CBS pledged to act as a forum for discussion between advocacy groups and LGBTQ organizations.