Health

Canada To Lift Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood

But heavy restrictions remain

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OTTAWA—The federal blood donor agency is lifting its lifetime ban on gay men giving blood, but serious restrictions mean few gay or bisexual men are likely to start offering up their veins.

Canadian Blood Services announced Wednesday it has received approval from Health Canada to reduce its restriction on men who have sex with men donating blood from indefinitely to five years.

"We do not anticipate that this will bring a large number of gay men forward to the blood donor pool," Dr. Dana Devine, vice-president of medical, scientific and research affairs at the federal blood donor agency said in a telephone news conference Wednesday.