Following on the heels of the not-so-progressive Canadian update on gay blood donation (gay men are allowed to give blood only if they have abstained from sex for a year. There’s incentive. :eyeroll:), Canadian Blood Services has now targeted trans women from donating if they are pre-op and sexually active with men.
But many activists are upset with the policy because it focuses on whether or not a trans person has undergone gender confirming surgery.
Goldman says the criteria will create a countrywide, streamlined mandate for all trans blood donors.
According to Canadian Blood Services, there has been an increase in potential trans donors and this prompted the organization to implement criteria for those individuals.
The policy specifically targets trans women and is similar to Canadian Blood Services’ updated guidelines for gay blood donors. On June 20, Health Canada announced that gay men would be allowed to donate blood if they had abstained from sex for at least one year.
Trans women who undergo gender confirming surgery will have to wait one year before they can donate blood. After the wait period, Canadian Blood services will also identify them by their reconfirmed gender. “If a trans woman has not had [gender confirming surgery], that person would be considered as a male having sex with a male,” Goldman said.
Canadian Blood Services says there are regulations specific to trans women because that demographic is at high risk for HIV.
According to the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development, an estimated 27.7 per cent of trans women in Canada are living with HIV.
“There is a very high HIV prevalence rate in trans women,” Goldman said. “So we are obliged to treat (them) as a high risk group.”
No one wants to end up with a disease because they needed blood, but the CBS is raising the old spectre of the ‘gay plague’, and they’ve based policy on some shoddy research. [In the comments, Siobhan points out it’s considerably worse than shoddy reasearch: “Actually they did something even more impressively incorrect. They based their policy off research that directly contradicts their logic.”] Siobhan at Against the Grain has an intensive breakdown of this new policy, and what it means. As for this nasty clod dropped in the pool:
“If a trans woman has not had [gender confirming surgery], that person would be considered as a male having sex with a male,” Goldman said.
I highly recommend Siobhan’s What trans people mean when we say “misgendering is violence”.