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Bad Call of the Day: Canadian Blood Services Puts Donation Ad on Grindr

Gay men in Canada can't donate blood unless they've been abstinent for at least a year. Perhaps Canadian Blood Services should rethink telling Grindr users to "put the power to give life in the palm of your hand."
August 11, 2016, 4:21pm

Salt on the wound. Photo via Canadian Blood Services.

Starting next week, gay men can donate blood only if they've been abstinent for a year.

While it's a step forward from Health Canada's former five-year abstinent period that's been enforced since 2013, it's still a huge, unrealistic waiting time for gay men who want to donate blood now. In an inconsiderate blow to this restraining policy, Canadian Blood Services placed a nationwide blood donation ad on Grindr, a gay hookup app. The ad tells users, "Get the GiveBlood app and put the power to give life in the palm of your hand."

why is canadian blood services advertising on grindr — we held (@bloodfemme)August 5, 2016

Even more taunting is the company's slogan at the corner of the ad: "It's in you to give." On an app that is mainly used by gay men for casual hookups, we think it's safe to say this was, well, a really bad call. Canadian Blood Services confirmed to CBC today that the ad was a mistake and wasn't meant to be on Grindr. Spokesperson Ross Fitzgerald said that a mobile advertising company put it on the app by accident. "We've taken steps to avoid it happening again in the future," he said. Before Health Canada enforced the five-year abstinent period for donating blood, there was a complete ban for gay men to donate blood since the 80s for fear of transmitting HIV. Now, like pretty much everything else since the 80s, STI testing has technologically advanced and men who have safe or monogamous relationships should be able to donate blood. Aside from admitting to a third party's mistake, an apology from Canadian Blood Services would be a good (and necessary) call. Follow Ebony on Twitter