Recruiting participants from the newly established cohort of #iCruise study participants, this research will support Canadian Blood Services in understanding challenges and opportunities in maintaing a safe blood supply while increasing blood donations from gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) who live in urban, semiurban and rural areas in Ontario, particularly those at low risk of HIV. Using survey and interview methods we will identify the proportion of MSM who are eligible and willing to donate blood under existing (1-year) and proposed alternative screening policies. Alternative screening will include a deferral period of 12, 9, 6, and/or 3 months, and screening MSM based for specific behavioural HIV risk. We will examine how changes from existing deferral policy to alternative deferral policies will affect the motivations of MSM to participate in voluntary blood donations. We will also explore how MSM understand CBS’ screening questions for blood donation. This study will: 1) provide CBS with research data on urban, semi-urban, and rural MSM who would be eligible/ineligible to donate under existing or alternative screening policies, and 2) inform Canadian Blood Services on the development of individual risk assessment donor policies for MSM who live in urban, semi-urban and rural areas.
MSM Research Grant Program