Héma-Québec is adding a new measure to all types of blood donations starting 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 elimination of the three-month wait period for men having sex with men.
"This new, more inclusive approach will place Héma-Québec among the leaders on the international stage in its field of activity," Héma-Québec CEO Nathalie Fagnan said in a statement.
"Making this humanitarian gesture even more inclusive and accessible to a greater number of people, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation is an important step forward."
Regular blood donors will see changes to the mandatory questionnaire, which will ask about sexual behaviour and pregnancy history. For those who report having a new partner within the last three months, or multiple partners, additional questions will then be asked.
With the new questionnaire, the assessment of risk for sexual activity will be done on an individual basis rather than on the basis of belonging to a group considered to be at risk, Héma-Québec stated. Additionally, this new measure will also mean that some heterosexual people will no longer qualify to donate blood.
Dr. Marc Germain, Vice President, Medical Affairs and Innovation at Héma-Québec, said that this decision was based entirely on scientific evidence and will not have any negative impact on the supply.
The gender-neutral questionnaire will roll 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.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.