Recognizing progress is one thing.
Questioning it is another.
The history of Héma-Québec and Canadian Blood Services is tainted by inconsistencies and systemic discrimination. With Our Blood dug deeper to make sure you got the full picture.
We know it's shocking, but it needs to be said loud and clear.
Relations between men considered problematic since 1998.
Men who have had sex with another man, even once, since 1977 are not allowed to donate blood.?
Since 2001, the nucleic acid amplification test has been used to detect HIV. This test reduces the period during which it is impossible to detect HIV following infection to 9 days.?
Yet, no changes have been made on the ban for GBT2Q.
Men who have had sex with another man, even once, in the past five years are not eligible to donate blood.?
Héma-Québec and Canadian Blood Services defend the policy based on the concept of an undetectable window period for HIV. Yet the most conservative research speaks of a potential risk period of 3 months.
Don’t forget that the nucleic acid amplification test that can detect an HIV infection after 9 days has been used since 2001.
Men who have had sex with another man, even once, in the past 12 months are not eligible to donate blood.?
In 2016, Christopher Karas filed a federal human rights complaint against Canadian Blood Services and Health Canada.
The complainant requests the filing of scientific evidence supporting the current restriction and the process of gradually reducing the ban from 5 years to 12 months at the time.
The defence did not submit any evidence.
In other words, their practice is haphazard and without a real basis!
Men who have had sex with another man, even once, in the past 3 months are not eligible to donate blood.?
Despite the recommendations of the scientific community and the successful lifting of the restriction in other countries, Canada still hasn’t removed the restriction.
To better discriminate against trans people since 2016.
In 2016, Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec set up a new screening process for trans people which assess them according to their sex assigned at birth.?
As a result, trans women who have sex with men and who have not had any lower gender-affirming genital surgery procedure(s) cannot donate blood.
The reverse is also true, a trans man who has undergone lower gender-affirming genital surgery procedure(s) and has sex with men then becomes unfit to give.
A problematic process on all fronts!
- Not all trans people want to have lower gender-affirming genital surgery procedure(s).
- Not all trans people can pay all the costs associated with lower gender-affirming genital surgery procedure(s).
- Certain health predispositions may prevent a trans person from having lower gender-affirming genital surgery procedure(s).
Permitting the Black African community just when it suits them.
People born or having lived in the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger, Nigeria since 1977 or any person having had sexual relations, even once, with a person born or having lived in these countries since 1977 are ineligible to donate blood.?
The potential for infection of several diseases and viruses including HIV was considered too great by Health Canada.
People born or having lived in Africa since 1977 cannot donate blood, as well as anyone who has had sexual contact with someone born or living in Africa since 1977.
The basis for the restriction relates to the inability to detect the HIV-O strain, which mainly affects the African continent.?
In 2009, Health Canada approved an HIV-O screening test and made it available for use.
However, the restriction was maintained for more than 6 years! What is that, if not discrimination?
Especially since the withdrawal in 2015 was followed by efforts to acquire new donors from the black community due to problems with the blood supply.
People born or having lived in Cameroon or Togo since 1977 cannot donate blood as well as any person who has had sexual contact with a person born or residing in Cameroon or Togo since 1977.?
Buckle up! This restriction was added because of the assumption that a new strain of HIV could only emerge in Cameroon or Togo.
Sex workers presumed sick since 1977?!
Red Flag! Red Flag! Red Flag!
In other words, they say that a sex worker can live with an infection for over 40 years, without the warning signs or tests to diagnose it ... No science can support such absurdity!
Above all, sex workers are once again labelled with unbridled and unprotected sexuality. Let's ask them rather than insinuate it!