Canadian Blood Services lifts ban on gay bone marrow donors

Published: December 8, 2009

Canadian Blood Services lifts ban on gay bone marrow donors

The Canadian Blood Services is now accepting gay men as donors of stem cells and bone marrow. Until October, gay men were automatically ineligible if they’d ever been sexually active.
Bone marrow and stem-cell transplants from non-relatives are uncommon; in 2008, just 250 such operations were performed in Canada. That’s because, for the procedure to work, donors and recipients must be near-perfect genetic matches.

CBS collects information about potential donors through a program called One Match (formerly the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry). In Canada, there are 250,000 people registered with One Match, but there are still over 800 people awaiting transplants.

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