A Note About Language
We acknowledge that people use different terms to describe their sexual orientation and gender identity. Although we use various terms to be as inclusive as possible, we are always learning and improving. We have used terms like “gay, bisexual and queer men” for brevity throughout this website. However, we acknowledge that this does not capture the many beautifully diverse identities of people who are affected by the blood ban. We include cis, trans men, including AFAB, AMAB terms as appropriate. Unfortunately, language is imperfect and not all people will see themselves reflected in the terms that we use.
More sexually active gay, bi and other men who have sex with men are now eligible to donate plasma, and whole blood! As of September 11th 2022, Canadian Blood Services has changed the rules about donation. This change is a big step in the right direction, and will allow some guys in monogamous relationships to be able to donate. However, we want to acknowledge that there is still a long road ahead before there are truly equitable donation rules for gay, bi and queer guys. Read more about the rules for donating plasma and blood.
It can be hard to find the information that you’re looking for when it comes to the rules about donation. We are committed to providing practical info on eligibility and what screening looks like for lots of folks – including gay, bi and all men who have sex with men, trans, nonbinary, gender diverse, and intersex folks, and people who use PrEP/PEP.
Understandably, you may be a bit nervous if you haven’t donated before (or if it’s been a hot minute). We’ll walk you through the process and give you some details to help you feel ready and comfortable before going into the Donor Centre.
Click here to watch newly eligible guys donate plasma.
You might be wondering “What even is plasma?!” Most Canadians don’t know about the need for plasma donation because donation campaigns seem to be all about blood. Our research team has been learning how important and needed plasma is. The donor centre staff don’t call it liquid gold for nothing!
You probably already know about the blood ban in Canada but if you want some background info, check out this section.
Learn more about the past, present, and future of these policies.
We’ve also created a detailed timeline. Check it out to find out more about the history of blood donation, the tainted blood tragedy and the blood ban in Canada, and how historic activism efforts by LGBT2Q+ groups have promoted change over time.
While the rules about donation have been moving in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to be done before donation policies are fair – not only for gay, bi and queer guys!
You’ve got lots of questions and we’ve got answers! Our research team has pulled together answers to many of the questions that we’ve been asked and wondered ourselves.
Whose webpage is this? We are a group made up of university-based researchers and staff, members of the community, and members of Canadian Blood Services who strive to advance donation policies. We believe gay, bi, queer and men who have sex with men have been unfairly stigmatized within the blood system. We wanted to hear how this exclusion has impacted the lives of gbMSM. Through surveys, interviews, and local advisory groups, our research has been informed by the community and is meant for the community.