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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Case of Gay Blood Donor Raises Questions in Commons

June 11, 1999
CNews Online (06/10/99)

In Canada, Ottawa police may file criminal charges against Joel Pinon, a gay activist who lied about his sexual orientation on a questionnaire when donating blood. Hema- Quebec and Canadian Blood Services reject blood from men who have sex with men, because they are at high risk for HIV infection. Officials at the blood banks say the window between infection and when the virus expresses itself makes such donations particularly risky. Pinon says he lied because he thinks asking male blood donors whether they have had sex with other men is discriminatory. The unit of blood Pinon donated has been destroyed, but white platelets from the blood have already been used in a transfusion; Hema-Quebec will trace the recipient for HIV testing. Pinon has been barred from donating blood in the future.