The federal government has approved a major reduction for gay men who want to donate blood.
Earlier this Wednesday, Health Canada approved a request by the Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec. The blood donation ban for gay men has now been slashed from one year to three months.
This is also the third reduction for gay, male donors within the past 7 years.
Prior to 2013, a lifetime restriction was in place. Any male involved in sexual relationships with another male after 1977 would be prohibited from donating.
The lifetime ban was then cut to five years and reduced again to one year in 2016.
Health Canada also explains that the reductions have not caused any increase in HIV-positive blood donations.
“This is a significant step towards eliminating the deferral period entirely,” writes the agency, in a statement. “This change ensures that Canada remains a global leader in safe, non-discriminatory blood donation.”
According to Health Canada, the only other places with a three-month ban in place are England, Scotland, and Wales.