Assessing the acceptability and feasibility of a plasma donation program for gbMSM in Montréal from the point of view of cis and trans gbMSM, volunteers from Héma-Québec, current donors, and plasma product recipients

Although the current policy on the eligibility of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) is more inclusive than in the past, it remains restrictive. The donation of plasma intended for fractionation, which ensures the safety of recipients, could allow sexually active gbMSM to donate. In 2021, Canadian Blood Services has expanded plasma eligibility for some sexually active gbMSM in two donor centres, with the donation being quarantined for a period after which the donor returns for testing. Héma-Québec is exploring the possibility of implementing this type of program in Québec, but without the use of quarantine. During phase 1 of this project, acceptability and interest in this type of program have been evaluated with gbMSM. The objective of this phase is to document the acceptability and feasibility of a plasma donation program intended for fractionation for gbMSM in Québec from the points of view of various stakeholders: 1) cis or trans gbMSM; 2) Héma-Québec staff and volunteers; 3) current blood donors and plasma donors; and 4) plasma product recipients. This would be done through the exploration of four potential implementation contexts: 1) absence of quarantine, 2) quarantine for gbMSM, 3) gender-neutral screening questions for all donors, and 4) screening questions for gbMSM. Acceptability and feasibility of the program will be evaluated through interviews or focus groups with each of the 4 stakeholder groups. Data emerging from focus groups with donors will be transformed into an online survey destined for a larger pool of donors. Ultimately, the project will identify characteristics and conditions of a program which is acceptable to all stakeholders involved in its deployment, and operationally feasible in Québec.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
OTIS, Joanne
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
GERMAIN, Marc HAW, Jennie MONTEITH, Kenneth MYHAL, Geneviève PRESSEAU, Justin PIRNAT, Bojan LAPIERRE, Don
Institution
Universite du Quebec a Montreal
Program
MSM Plasma Program
Province
Quebec
Total Amount Awarded
$390,970
Project Start Date
Project End Date