Evolving eligibility criteria for men who have sex with men

Today, men are eligible to give blood if it has been more than three months since their last sexual contact with a man. This three-month waiting period is an incremental step in our eligibility criteria journey for men who have sex with men, but we do not see it as the destination.  

The eligibility criteria used to screen donors is part of a science-based, multi-tiered safety system that helps save patients’ lives. We are actively working with researchers to build the evidence base we need to apply to Health Canada, our regulator, to further evolve the criteria so we can be minimally restrictive about who can donate while safeguarding the blood supply. The research needed to generate evidence-based changes to the eligibility criteria for blood donation by men who have sex with men is ongoing, and we continue to  work towards further change.