Expanding plasma eligibility for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men
Some sexually active gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men are now eligible to donate source plasma at our Calgary, Alberta and London, Ontario centres.
Expanding plasma donor eligibility for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men is the first time we have been able to introduce questions about sexual behaviour instead ofincrementally shortening the waiting period. Our goal remains to create a system that evaluates all donors equally based on sexual risk factors, and our application to Health Canada later this year will propose a model that does this.
At our London and Calgary donor centres, if you are a man who answers “yes” to having had sex with a man in the last three months, you will be eligible to donate source plasma if:
You have not had a new sexual partner in the last three months,
You and your partner have only had sex with each other in the last three months, and
If you’re in London or Calgary and meet these criteria, you can book your appointment online, using our GiveBlood app or by calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).
We’re seeking plasma donors in London and Calgary who wish to donate frequently and regularly
Men are able to donate source plasma every week at our London and Calgary donor centres. Plasma donated by gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in London and Calgary will be sent to be made into plasma protein products when the donor comes in at least 60 days later to donate and has a second negative test result. Plasma protein products are specialized medicines that are made from the proteins in plasma to help treat a variety of rare, life-threatening, chronic, and genetic conditions.
This 60-day hold is a requirement from our regulator Health Canada and the companies that manufacture specialized medicines from the proteins in plasma, called fractionators.
Our upcoming submission to Health Canada requesting the removal of the eligibility criteria for men who have sex with men will not contain a hold.
Plasma is the straw-coloured, protein-rich liquid in blood that helps other blood components circulate throughout the body. While some donated plasma is transfused directly to patients, most is required as the source material for a variety of treatments ― what is called “source plasma." These treatments are manufactured products for patients with rare, life-threatening, chronic and genetic conditions. Demand for products made from plasma is surging in Canada and around the world.
Monday: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tuesday: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
Wednesday: 11:30 am - 6:30 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am - 6:30 pm
Friday: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
The clinic location is Eau Claire Market, Unit #10, 2nd Floor, across from Theatres. Donor Parking – Underground access via 2nd Street SW. 20 designated spots for donors. If those are full, park anywhere underground and come to the donor centre to validate your parking.
820 Wharncliffe Road South
London ON N6J 2N4
Monday: 12:30 pm - 6:20 pm
Tuesday: 12:30 pm - 6:20 pm
Wednesday: 12:30 pm - 6:20 pm
Thursday: 7:00 am - 12:55 pm
Friday: 7:00 am - 12:55 pm
Saturday: 7:00 am - 10:20 am
Clinic is located at the main intersection of Southdale Rd. and Wharncliffe Rd. S, in the plaza on the east side of Wharncliffe Rd. S.
Not in Calgary or London?
We truly understand that being turned away from donating can leave any donor with a sense of frustration and disappointment. We recognize that eligibility criteria for men who have sex with men is a particularly sensitive issue affecting many who have experienced longstanding marginalization and stigma. We also recognize that the slow pace of changes to donor criteria that still exclude many gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men has been painful and frustrating for many, and we are working to create a more inclusive system.
Canadian Blood Services’ goal is to remove the current waiting period for men who have sex with men and use sexual behaviour-based screening for all donors instead. To this end, we intend to make a submission recommending this change to Health Canada, our regulator, by the end of 2021.