Allowing blood donation from men who had sex with men more than 5 years ago: a model to evaluate the impact on transfusion safety in Canada

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Abstract

Canada now allows donations from men who had sex with men (MSM) if their last sexual contact with a man was more than 5 years ago. We modelled the impact of this policy on supply and safety. Approximately 4500 new donors will be added and assuming compliance to the new policy remains unchanged, the worst-case scenario predicts the introduction of one HIV-contaminated unit in the inventory every 1072 years. This change will entail negligible additional HIV risk to recipients. A five-year deferral will also protect recipients against the theoretical concern that MSM may represent a group at higher risk of sexually transmitted, emerging blood borne pathogens.

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