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LGBTQI+ Donors

This page aims to explain the Blood Service policies as they relate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and gender non-conforming (LGBTQI+) individuals.

Blood donor eligibility

Our donors and patients are at the heart of everything we do. Your health and safety is our priority, which is why donors must meet certain requirements every time they donate blood. These requirements are subject to the approval of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia’s regulatory authority on the blood and tissue sector.

The donation criteria and questions on the Donor Questionnaire Form are designed to ensure that the blood collection process is as safe as possible for blood donors and patients alike. 

Health history screening

Our pre-donation screening includes a questionnaire made up of three sections. The first looks at the health history of first-time donors and the second is a medical questionnaire for all donors. These two sections are designed to identify possible medical issues in potential donors, as well as general risks of infection. 

The third section is a legal declaration for you to fill out, pertaining to specific infection risks such as sexual activity and blood exposures. Some of these questions ask about ‘sexual contact’ and ‘sex’. We use these terms to refer to any sexual activities including vaginal, oral or anal. 

Men who have sex with men

The Donor Questionnaire includes a question asking whether male donors have had sex with another man in the past 12 months. ‘Sex’ in this context means oral and anal sex with or without a condom. 

Unfortunately, we will have to defer your donation if you answer ‘yes’ to this question. This is based on extensive research, and we continue to work with the research bodies such as the Kirby Institute in gathering scientific risk data to determine when and where further changes can be made to this policy. 

Women who have sex with women

There is no deferral for a woman who has had sex with another woman. If you meet our other criteria, a woman who has sex with other women will be eligible to donate blood. 

Transgender donors

Blood Service policy allows gender to be self-identified and self-reported. This enables blood donors to register as the gender by which they identify.

However, there are important physical differences between males and females which might change during gender transition. In these cases, we’ll make certain adjustments to the donor assessment and blood collection process.

In addition, transgender donors will be deferred if they have had sex with a male in the last 12 months.  This applies to both transwomen and transmen.

Find out more

Intersex donors

We allow gender to be self-identified and apply eligibility criteria for the gender reported. At present, our process requires you to select either male or female when registering to donate.

We appreciate that our donor database will not accommodate the gender identity of everyone. You’re not required to tell staff if you’re intersex.

Gender non-conforming/genderqueer/gender fluid/agender or non-binary donors

We value all potential blood donors and recognise that the sex assigned at birth doesn’t define their gender. We understand that our donor registration, which currently asks donors to select either male or female, doesn’t accommodate the gender identity of all individuals. Eligibility criteria are applied according to the gender that you self-report.

Asexual donors

There are no additional eligibility requirements for asexual donors. 

Learn more about blood donation eligibility and what makes Australia’s blood supply one of the safest in the world, or call us on 13 14 95 if you have any other questions or concerns around your ability to donate blood.

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