LGBTQI+ Donors

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

Our donors and patients are at the heart of everything we do. Your health and safety and that of Australian patients, 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. 

Note: if you’re taking pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP) you’ll need to wait 12 months since your last dose before you can donate. This is because there is evidence that shows PrEP impacts the ability of our tests to pick up early HIV infection.

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 3 months. ‘Sex’ in this context means oral and anal sex with or without a condom. 

If you answer 'yes' to this question, you'll need to wait 3 months from your last sexual contact with a man before you can donate.

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

Lifeblood 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 postponed from donating if they have had sex with a male or transgender partner in the last 3 months. This applies to donors who are either trans women or trans men.

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, if you have any other questions or concerns around your ability to donate blood, call us on 13 14 95 or ask a question online.

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