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Donating after travelling

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Most people who travel outside Australia are still able to donate blood when they return.

However, travel to an area where there is a risk of exposure to certain diseases can result in symptomless infection that can be transmitted through blood transfusion.

If you’ve been overseas recently, or are planning to go, select the country that you are visiting / have visited from the drop down list below to find out when you are able to donate after you return.

Marker Map

Select a country from the drop down list below then click on the disease to see when you can donate on your return.

  1. 1

    This country has a high prevalence of HIV infection among the general community.

    When can I donate?
    If you have sex with a person who lives in one of these areas, you will be able to donate 12 months later.

    In the meantime, discover other ways to help save lives

  2. 2

    vCJD is the human form of 'mad cow disease'. There have been a small number of reported cases of patients in the United Kingdom (UK) diagnosed with vCJD who have been infected through blood transfusion in the UK.

    When can I donate?
    To avoid any risk of transmitting the disease you can't donate if you:

    • have lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 for a cumulative period of 6 months or more,
    • have received blood transfusions in the UK since 1 January 1980.

    Discover other ways to help save lives

  3. 3

    Chagas disease is an insect-borne infection and is present in this country.

    When can I donate?
    If you were born or had a blood transfusion in this country, we can’t accept whole blood donations. However you are encouraged to consider donating just the plasma component in your blood. Find out more about plasma donations.

  4. 4

    The Ebola and/or Marburg viruses are known to be present in this country.

    When can I donate?
    To ensure you have not been infected and that the disease is not passed on, you can donate 8 weeks after returning from this country.

    While you’re waiting to donate, there are lots of other ways you can help save lives.

  5. 5

    Malaria is a mosquito-borne infection and is present in this country.

    When can I donate?
    Until you’ve been able to have your blood tested for malaria antibodies, we can only accept the plasma portion of your donation. We are always in need of plasma donations so this can be a great way to help save lives until you can make whole blood donations. Find out more about plasma donations.

    If you would prefer to make a whole blood donation, please make an appointment after 4 months so that malaria antibodies test can be done. If the test is negative, all of your donation can be used for patients.

    However, this does not apply if you have traveled to Papua New Guinea (PNG) as there is a risk of relapsing malaria in that country. Even if you return a negative result for malaria antibodies, we will only be able to use the plasma portion of your donation for a period of 3 years on your return from PNG.

  6. 6

    Dengue and chikungunya are mosquito-borne infections and are present in this country.

    When can I donate?
    Only the plasma portion of your donation can be used until 4 weeks have passed since you left this country.

    Please make an appointment after 4 weeks so we can use all of your donation for patients.

  7. 7

    West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection and is present in this country.

    When can I donate?
    Only the plasma portion of your donation can be used until 4 weeks have passed since you left this country.

    Please make an appointment after 4 weeks so we can use all of your donation for patients.

  8. 8

    Schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia) is a parasite that is present in this country.

    When can I donate?
    If you have any history of infection by this parasite it may affect your suitability to donate blood.

    Please call us on 13 14 95 to discuss your eligibility.

  9. 9

    Rabies is a virus present in some animals in this country and can be spread to humans, usually by an animal bite.

    • Unless you were bitten or scratched by an animal in this country, the rabies restrictions will not affect your ability to donate.
    • If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal in this country, you will be able to donate 12 months after you've returned.
    • However, if you were vaccinated against rabies prior to being bitten or scratched you may be able to donate sooner - please call us on 13 14 95.

You are able to donate after your visit as there are no diseases in this country that impact on blood donation.

This information is provided only to inform which portion of a blood donation may be used after returning from international travel. It is not intended for any other purpose, e.g. travel health advice. If you have any questions about your eligibility to donate please call 13 14 95 or visit our FAQs.