Canadian Students Target Gay Blood Ban

The Canadian Federation of Students is stepping up its opposition to Canada's ban on blood donation by any man who has had sex with another man, even once, since 1977, CanWest News Service reported Jan. 3.

Federation spokeswoman Amanda Aziz said the ban is outdated and “a form of institutionalized discrimination.”

Opposition to the ban has provoked renewed organizing at the University of Toronto and McGill University in particular, the report said.

A spokeswoman for Health Canada called the policy “science-based” and said men who have sex with men are not the only individuals targeted.

People who visited the United Kingdom or France between 1980 and 1996, for example, also are banned from donating blood, because they may have a type of mad cow disease.

Canadian Blood Service said it is continuing to study the issue.

Current HIV testing can detect infection within days of its taking place.

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