Transgender - I am transgender. Can I donate?

Yes, but there’s a restriction based on sexual activity. Donors who are transgender will be unable to donate if they’ve had sex with a male or transgender partner in the last 12 months.

Why does sexual activity matter?

There’s a higher prevalence of HIV infection and other blood-borne infections amongst transgender people compared to the general population.

Why does gender matter?

There are important biological differences that affect blood donation. Many of these differences are relevant to your welfare – for example, females have a smaller blood volume than males of the same height and weight, so the amount of blood we can safely collect is smaller.

Your gender also affects how we interpret some blood tests such as the haemoglobin test.

We can’t use platelets from female donors due to the increased risk of a rare but dangerous reaction called transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) that is associated with antibodies in plasma.

Are there different procedures for collecting blood from transgender donors?

We make some adjustments to account for biological differences that may be affected by hormonal treatment for the purpose of gender affirmation. That’s why we’ve developed transgender-specific protocols for assessing haemoglobin, iron stores, and blood volume.

Restrictions are also in place to minimise the risk of TRALI in patients. Because most cases of TRALI occur after a transfusion from a female donor, we can’t collect platelets from cis female donors. The same policy applies to both trans male and trans female donors. However, whole blood and plasma donation are open to all eligible cisgender and transgender donors.

What if I have had gender affirmation surgery?

Our protocols for transgender donors aren’t affected by whether or not you’ve had gender affirmation surgery.

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