Evolving eligibility criteria for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men

Canadian Blood Services’ goal is to stop asking men if they’ve had sex with another man and instead focus on high-risk sexual behaviour among all donors. To this end, we made a submission recommending this change to Health Canada, our regulator, in December 2021.

Currently, men are eligible to give blood if it has been more than three months since their last sexual contact with a man. 

As an incremental step, in 2019 we started the process of making a change in our source plasma eligibility criteria. In May 2021 we submitted the request for changes to Health Canada. In September 2021, we received approval for some gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men to be able to donate plasma at select donor centres.  

This page describes where we’ve been, where we’re going, and the next steps we’re taking to get there. It also describes the history of Canadian Blood Services and how we work with our regulator, Health Canada, to protect Canada’s blood supply.