NEW YORK — Canadian Blood Services, a non-profit that manages the country’s blood supply, announced last week that its policy banning gay men from ever donating blood, will end this summer though some restrictions will remain in place, the Huffington Post reported.
The lifetime ban will be lifted and replaced with a five-year deferral period, Health Canada, the national public health department, said in a statement. Gay men who haven’t had sex with men in five years will now be eligible to give, the report said.
Dr. Marc Germain, vice president of medical affairs at Hema-Quebec, a non-profit blood management organization, said the change is “scientifically justified” and will “in no way” endanger the blood supply.
While gay men are prohibited from blood donation in the U.S., Britain and Australia have one-year deferral periods while South Africa’s is six months, Huffington Post reported. Canada’s new policy goes into effect July 22.