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Today’s news that Health Canada has approved proposed changes to how Canadian Blood Services screens blood and plasma donations helps remedy overtly discriminatory practices targeted towards men who have sex with men, 2 Spirit, gay, bisexual, and queer men, and other queer and trans community members.
This evidence for making this policy change is long-standing, and this change is long overdue. As is so often the case for queer and trans communities, change happened solely due to the relentless advocacy of 2SLGBTQ+ communities, researchers, health experts, AIDS service organizations, and others. We celebrate this long-fought win with our friends and partners who have dedicated countless hours to making this change happen.
Barriers to queer- and trans-competent and affirming care, and to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention options, are pervasive across Canada. Effective public health measures rely on evidence-based decision-making and the lived realities of marginalized communities, and we are heartened to see Health Canada and Canadian Blood Services making a much delayed but welcome decision.