Blood testing: Do you have confidence in the current system?
- May 25, 2010 1:54 PM |
- By POV
Canada's policy of banning blood donations from sexually active gay men is counterproductive and needs to change, some doctors say.
Since 1983, blood agencies in Canada, the U.S., and other industrialized countries have permanently deferred blood donations from men who have sex with men because of the possibility of infection with HIV/AIDS.
At the time, the approach was justified by the lack of scientific knowledge of the infection, the higher prevalence of HIV among such men, and the lack of a blood test to screen donors for HIV infection. But in Tuesday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Mark Wainberg of Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Norbert Gilmore of McGill University Health Centre and their co-authors argue for the ban to be reconsidered.
"A change in policy, based on scientific evidence, would remove this prejudice," the authors write. "A delicate balance must be reached between the risk of contaminating the blood supply and the benefits associated with increasing the donor pool."
Meanwhile, several court cases are underway in Canada challenging the ban against blood donation by sexually active gay men, arguing the donations should be permitted under carefully defined conditions.
Blood testing: Do you have confidence in the current system? Take our poll.
(This poll is not scientific. It is based on readers' votes.)
All News blogs
Point of View
- Internet freedom: Should government have the ability to shut down the internet?
- The Egyptian government shut down access to the internet and the country's cellphone data network early Friday, according to media reports. Internet and cellphone data service was unavailable throughout the country, making it impossible for news of the protests... Continue reading this post
- Access to information: Does Canada need to be more open with data?
- By CBC NewsCanada lags behind most other countries when it comes to sharing data with its citizens, according to the chair of the standing committee on access to information.Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy's committee has been looking into how other jurisdictions... Continue reading this post
- TTC bus driver: Do you often see your local drivers texting?
- The Toronto Sun on Thursday published a picture sent by a reader of a TTC bus driver driving while texting on a mobile device. (Toronto Sun)The Toronto Transit Commission is coming under fire after the emergence of a picture... Continue reading this post