Canadian Blood Services Policy Change
If you haven’t heard, Canadian Blood Services has changed thier policy on MSM blood donations. The deferral period has gone from indefinite down to 5 years. Although this is a step in the right direction and we do certainly do appreciate it, it is not good enough.
This change accomplishes essentially nothing in the way of including previously excluded individuals who would be prime candidates for donation. Perhaps if you experimented in college that one time and decided it wasn’t for you then you are now eligible to donate. For the rest of us, including me, the writer of the bloodisblood.ca website as well as this blog, this does nothing.
I am in a committed, monogamous relationship, and have been for 2 1/2 years. I am an ideal candidate for blood donation in every other way except that I regularly have sex with a man. Neither of us have any diseases and are at an extremely low risk of getting any. If you fall into this category as well and wish to pledge your support (and your blood!) please visit bloodisblood.ca.
We were contacted by Don from Canadian Blood Services who wanted to introduce himself and connect regarding this issue. He ensured us that there are ongoing discussions regarding the issue and that Canadian Blood Services is preparing to make a submission to Health Canada with new recommendations regarding MSM donors. Ultimately it is Health Canada who must approve policy changes. He also pointed out that some of the information on the website is outdated and that even better testing measures are currently in place. We have updated the website to reflect the new changes. Remember to pledge your support for our cause!
Now offered in French
Due to some gracious volunteering by a friend of ours we have been able to offer a French translation for the entire website! Hopefully we can appeal to a French audience now. Héma-Québec has the same discriminating policies as its counterpart, Canadian Blood Services. Please share our website with your French friends! If you see any errors please let us know by emailing us.
Back to the Drawing Board
Remember that security feature we just implemented? Well we turned it off. We were getting some emails saying that people were not receiving their validation emails. We don’t want even one valid pledge to be missed! We’re going back to the honor system. One pledge per person please! If anyone has a better idea please let tell us and we’ll look into it. Email us at email@example.com.
We apologize greatly for the downtime we just experienced. It was unfortunately necessary to put more security measures in place against false pledges. Last night several obvious pledges were entered into the system which made it clear that not verifying the email address used was a mistake. For those of you who have already pledge their support this does not affect you in any way and we thank you for doing so! Anyone who pledges their support from now on will receive a verification email and they will simply have to click the link in the email to verify their pledge. We hope this small step doesn’t deter people from pledging, it is merely a small inconvenience that is necessary to achieve the most accurate possible results.
Thank you and have a Happy Holiday!
We have received our initial shipment of business cards! We hope to be contacting various LGBT groups across Canada to see if we can get them displayed at their offices. If you would like to receive some to display please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know who you are and where you intend to display them and we’ll get back to you! Our new business card is depicted below!
We do have a few other forms of literature coming but not in high quantities due to lack of funding. We will consider sending out our 4x9” rack cards as well as a pledge form when we are able to get more.
We’re on Tumblr!
You may have noticed we’ve moved everything over to Tumblr! It makes sense to use a popular existing blogging service rather than creating our own. 27 otherwise-disqualified pledges at the time of writing saving up to 567 lives! That is a staggering number and we hope to see it get much higher. Keep those pledges coming!
It was brought to our attention on Facebook and Twitter that by only allowing disqualified individuals to pledge their support we were being as exclusionary as those we are trying make a point to. You are now able to pledge your support irregardless of your blood donation status and you will be counted toward statistics on the website. We still keep a running tally of those individuals who are disqualified based on the MSM (male having sex with male) criteria so that we can know exactly how many lives we could save!
A plea to our current and future pledgees: We are looking for bilingual volunteers to translate any new content that we may have to post on the website. If you are able to assist us, please email us!
Website’s official launch! A few people have committed to donate blood already and we hope to see this number skyrocket. This website is still very new and despite our testing there may be some errors that still occur. Also don’t be surprised if you notice small layout changes during the next little while. Please contact us with any issues that you encounter and we will do our best to fix things as soon as possible. If you have any questions or suggestions we will also happily look into them! Also please follow us on our newly created Twitter account @bloodisblood.