Héma-Québec makes blood donation even more inclusive

Héma-Québec adds a new measure to all types of blood donations from December 4, 2022: the use of a gender-neutral questionnaire. It’s a move the agency says will make blood and platelet donations more inclusive in the province.

This new measure follows the abolition of the three-month waiting period for men who have sex with men.

“This new, more inclusive approach will place Héma-Québec among the leaders on the international scene in its field of activity,” said Héma-Québec CEO Nathalie Fagnan in a press release.

“Making this humanitarian gesture even more inclusive and accessible to more people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, is an important step forward.”

Regular blood donors will see changes to the mandatory questionnaire, which will ask about sexual behavior and pregnancy history. For those who report having a new partner in the past three months, or multiple partners, additional questions will then be asked.

With the new questionnaire, the assessment of the risk of sexual activity will be done on an individual basis rather than on the basis of membership in a group considered at risk, specifies Héma-Québec. In addition, this new measure will also mean that certain heterosexual people will no longer be eligible to donate blood.

Dr. Marc Germain, Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Innovation at Héma-Québec, indicated that this decision was entirely based on scientific evidence and will have no negative impact on supply.

The gender-neutral questionnaire will be rolled out in two stages across Quebec. While the measure will be fully implemented on December 4 for all donations, it will begin to take effect on October 2 for all plasma donations.

The cover image of this article was used for illustrative purposes only.

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