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Years after first promising to do so, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during Pride month last June that he hoped to “very soon” announce the elimination of the blood donation ban for gay men as well as some other folks in the LGBTQ2S+ community. It’s nearly a year later and the policy remains unchanged, with the government now arguing in federal court, that while they want to see the blood ban eliminated, it’s not within their powers to unilaterally change the policy. Opposition parties have begun increasing the political pressure to see the Liberals do more to make good on their two-time election commitment, as LGBTQ2S+ advocates and those who are prohibited from donating continue to voice their frustration, saying the policy is discriminatory and not based in science. So, how close is the policy to actually changing? And what has to happen before the blood ban comes to an end? In Canada, both Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec have policies in place prohibiting gay and bisexual men who have sex with men, as well as certain trans folks who have sex with men from donating blood unless they have been abstinent for three months.

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