The views of diverse youth on current donor screening policies and proposed future changes must be investigated to ensure that equitable donation continues to support the health care needs of an aging Canadian population.
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) and trans or non-binary individuals are two populations that are currently subject to blood donation deferral in Canada. these deferral policies have been viewed as inequitable by many within these identities. Alternative donor screening questions and increased engagement with both groups has been proposed in order to address these ongoing issues. However, inequities in blood donation continue.
This team-based research project, led by Masters of Science in Health Sciences, Technology and Policy candidates, Katie Baker, Jaya Rastogi and Sebastian Steven, investigates the views of young adults in Canada on donor screening practices related to sex/gender and gbMSM donation. The investigation has a goal to assess the extent to which these views influence the desire to donate blood in order to inform future health policy.
About the Presenters
Katie Baker is a master’s student in Carleton University’s Health Science, Technology and Policy program. Her thesis project focuses on the views of Canadian young adults on blood donor screening policies regarding gender identity and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Katie has also worked with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada on tasks such as Risk Assessments and Public Education Campaigns. In the future, she hopes to help make health care more accessible to underserved populations. Katie has a bachelor of science in Neuroscience and Mental Health with a double minor in Psychology and Biology from Carleton University.
Jaya Rastogi is a Master of Science in Health Science, Technology and Policy (HSTP) candidate at Carleton University. Her research focuses on health inequities and the impacts of racism, heteronormativity, and the gender binary. Her HSTP final project explores the views of Canadian young adults on blood donor screening policies regarding gender identity and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM). Jaya is currently a research assistant at Canadian Blood Services and serves at Health Canada in the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch. Before coming to Carleton, Jaya spent 4 years working in health policy and public affairs in Washington, DC. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in International Affairs and Business Administration and a minor in French Language at Gordon College in Massachusetts, USA.
Sebastian Steven is a Master of Science in Health Sciences, Technology, and Policy (HSTP) candidate in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University. His research interests have focused on rural and remote health, health technology, and health science communication. His HSTP project explores the views of Canadian young adults on current blood donor screening policies related to gay and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) and trans and non-binary individuals. Sebastian also currently serves at Health Canada in the COVID-19 Task Force and as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Health Sciences. Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, he graduated from Carleton University’s Bachelor of Health Sciences program, with an additional Minor in Biology, in 2020.