A local man is sharing his story after he tried to donate plasma but was rejected because of a partial ban on donations from men who have sex with men (MSM). In a widely-circulated Instagram post, Montrealer Adam Capriolo explains that he signed up to participate in a study by Héma-Québec after recovering from COVID-19 but was "immediately disqualified in [the] interview when it came up that [he had] had 'homosexual encounters.'" He has since started a petition to end the policy.\n"I'm literally one of thousands of people in this city who could help someone and I'm not getting to because of an archaic homophobic/transphobic decision."\n"I have been incredibly proud of how my country has handled this situation, but this is embarrassing," he concludes.\nAdam points to Italy for an alternative model. There, all potential donors, regardless of gender, must undergo a risk assessment.\n"Héma-Québec is refusing post-COVID plasma and blood donations from all men who have had homosexual sex in the past three months," Adam's petition reads.\n"This rule is set by Health Canada and seems to be labelling all homosexual intimacy as dangerous, whether or not it is in a monogamous relationship, practicing protected sex, or both."\n"This prejudice is denying possibly life-saving treatment for a disease for which no treatment exists."\n"A one-sentence policy regarding male homosexual sex is simply unsafe and backwards," Adam told MTL Blog.\n"If a man is in a four-year-long monogamous relationship with another man and they only practice oral sex, under the Canadian Blood Services' guidelines, they are both considered more high risk (and would be immediately disqualified from donating) than a straight person practicing unprotected sex with multiple partners," he said.\nView this post on Instagram I’m fine now and I know this policy has been around forever, but it doesn’t make it ok, especially rn. Share this if u want or if it pisses you off like it did me, so that i don’t have to keep choosing between having a life, and helping save one. Also, seems a little on the nose to reject a gay man during a viral pandemic DOESNT IT 🤪 A post shared by Adam Capriolo (@adamcapriolo) on May 12, 2020 at 12:24pm PDT\nHealth Canada first announced the three-month policy — a reduction from a one-year ban for MSM — in May 2019.\nAt the time, the federal minister of health called the policy "a significant step towards eliminating the deferral period entirely."\nHe also stated that "Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec continue to work towards behavioural-based screening."\nBut blood and plasma donations have become more urgent in recent months as the COVID-19 outbreak strains the health care system.\nVous avez eu un diagnostic positif de la Covid-19 et vous en êtes guéri?💪 Nous avons besoin de vous. 🙏\nFaites équipe...Posted by Héma-Québec on Tuesday, May 12, 2020\nOn March 16, when the outbreak began to accelerate in Quebec, Premier Legault even encouraged residents to "go out and give blood."\n"We need to maintain our blood supply. So I'm asking for a special effort," he said.\nView this post on Instagram Change the Blood Donation Policy for Men Who Sleep with Men! Sign the petition! Here’s what it says, link in bio up there! Share! . Hema-Québec is refusing post-COVID plasma donations from all men who have had homosexual sex in the past three months. This rule is set by Health Canada, and seems to be labelling all homosexual intimacy as dangerous, whether or not it is in a monogamous relationship, practicing protected sex, or both. This prejudice is denying possibly life-saving treatment for a disease for which no treatment exists. Italy excludes all donors who recently practiced unprotected sex, with no gender limitation. We propose that Health Canada and Héma-Québec adopt a similar policy. A post shared by Adam Capriolo (@adamcapriolo) on May 13, 2020 at 2:06pm PDT\nAdam explained in a subsequent Instagram post that he is surprised by the reaction to his story. Many people, he said, weren't aware that such a "discriminatory" policy persists, especially in a moment of crisis.\nHe encourages people to sign and share the petition.\nStay tuned for more news.