Sexual activity deferral review

Keeping Australia’s blood supply safe is a priority for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. Ensuring donors meet our eligibility criteria is an important part of this.

Current review update - August 2020

Lifeblood deferral policies (where donors are postponed from donating for a period) are regularly reviewed and are underpinned by the most up-to-date clinical and scientific evidence, so that Australia maintains one of the safest blood supplies in the world. 

Following a comprehensive review of our sexual activity deferrals policies, we made a submission to the Australian regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), earlier this year, proposing that the donation postponement for donating whole blood for donors with a sexual-activity-based risk factor be reduced from the current 12 months to three months since the last sexual contact.

We then provided a further submission extending the scope of the original to include plasmapheresis and plateletpheresis donations.

We are pleased that the TGA has approved our submissions to reduce the postponements for whole blood, plasma and platelet donations to three months. Our proposal will now be considered by all Australian governments.

Final decisions on deferral periods (in relation to sexual activities and otherwise) involve multiple parties and factors that inform such decisions, including for the regulator, and for all Commonwealth, State and Territory governments who make policy decisions and fund and indemnify Lifeblood’s activities, and suppliers who process donated blood into other blood products. 

Lifeblood would like to make it easier for all Australians to give blood, while ensuring Australia’s blood and blood products are as safe as possible for blood recipients.

Information on the review

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