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”.
Marcus Ranum says
So the “issue” is that someone thinks people are going to be squicked out by deeply pondering “am I gay if I have some other guy’s blood in me?” But, wait, they’re already doing that! If I get a transfusion of blood from a woman who’s not my wife, have I cheated on my wife?
Apparently the stupid remains strong on this issue. Is CBS infected with christians like the Red Cross is in the US?
Well, I can’t say what is in their minds, but they are using the spectre of HIV to stop people donating. The hypocrisy and lack of thinking shows through though, in that post-op trans women can donate, while pre-op trans women are being considered to be gay guys, therefore a high risk in regard to HIV.
Actually they did something even more impressively incorrect. They based their policy off research that directly contradicts their logic.
It’s like gold-medal-Olympian-gymnast wrong.
Thanks muchly for the signal boost. <3
Yeah, it is. Your research, on the other hand, is impressive. Honestly, I don’t know why screening tests can’t be instituted. At least that would allow a lot more people to donate without doing blanket bans, especially when there’s no good reason for blanket bans. People get very weird over the notion of tainted blood, and it allows for ongoing bigotry supposedly based on the public good.
I’ll write about this at some point, probably after I’ve recovered from being compared to a sewer rat.
The Mellow Monkey says
This would be downright mind-boggling if it wasn’t based on transphobic bigotry. With that, it’s just like, “Yep. Of course.”
You’re sometimes forty-feet high and stomp about the place?
Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- says
So, as a cis woman I can have diverse orifices pounded by as many men and as many different men without using any protection and still be considered a good donor but trans women having sex within their monogamous heterosexual relationship are automatically suspect.
Apparently, trans cooties are a thing? In Canada? Eh…?
I’m sorry Canada is being such a shit place to you right now. :(
Marcus Ranum says
Isn’t donated blood screened for HIV? I mean, just taking somebody’s blood and going “looks legit” seems crazy. If it’s screened then … Who cares?
I was barred from giving blood because I ate beef in the UK in the 80s. And then I found out that the red cross is full of homophobic christians and SELLs the donated blood. Fuck that.
I don’t know if there is a screening test for prions, but I’d be more worried if there was heroin in the blood than if the donor’s sex practices squick out people.
Marcus Ranum says
Do they gender blood? If I have a motorcycle accident and I need blood is some ideologue in the spare parts room going “nope. That’s girl blood. Can’t give him that. And this blood is from a black person. Nope. I have some muslim blood….”
If I’m bleeding I don’t care what the blood’s been doing before I got it as long as it’s compatible and isn’t full of BSE or herpes or HIV and that it’s not from a politician.
Marcus Ranum says
Or a cop. No blood from a cop.
TRALI is a thing, and it is caused by the antibodies present in the blood of women who have been pregnant (even if they’ve never carried to term). They do gender the blood--AFAB pregnant/former-pregnant donors get an additional procedure that reduces the likelihood of a TRALI occurring during transfusion.
Outside of that? I don’t think gender specifically is a cause. Nonetheless I’ll be posting again soon, I received a non-answer from CBS on my letter.
Ack, check my own cissexism. “Women who have been pregnant” should actually be “AFABs who have been pregnant.”