So I was wondering what people here think of the ban on blood donations (in Canada and the US) from guys who, even once since 1977, have had sex with other guys? I'm currently involved in a dispute with a gay friend of mine who thinks the ban should be kept. I think that's ridiculous because women or straight men can engage in all sorts of high-risk activities but then go through a 6-month (what I call a) "contrition" period and be completely accepted as blood donors. What spurred my latest round of interest in the issue is that Canada just removed the restriction on people from France and Britain from donating (because of fear of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, aka the human variant of mad-cow) which had been previously applied to people who had lived for 3 months or more in Britain or France since 1997. So basically, except for a handful of groups, in Canada if you don't engage in risky behaviour (sex with someone who's history you don't know, getting tattooed or pierced, getting accupuncture or electrolysis, getting a needle-stick injury) for 6 months, you can donate blood. For gay guys, that period is now 28 years. Anyway, it just smacks of homophobia to me, that every single unit of donated blood is rigorously tested for a whole slew of blood-borne diseases but somehow gay guys are essentially barred from donating even though other people who might be just as much at risk of donating infected blood have to wait (a piddly in comparison) 6 months. On a personal level, I can tell you that I and I think nearly all of my gay friends would not only make excellent blood donors but we'd be pretty likely to donate whenever needed. So... thoughts? Comments?