Sexual activity deferral review

Keeping Australia’s blood supply safe is a priority for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. Our donor eligibility criteria is an important part of this.

Current review update - November 2020

Lifeblood’s 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. Our submission proposed that the donation postponement for donating whole blood for those 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 plasma and platelet donations.

We’re pleased that the TGA has approved our submissions to reduce the postponements for whole blood, plasma and platelet donations to three months and can report that our proposal has been agreed to by all Australian governments.

We’re now in the process of updating our systems, including the donor questionnaire form, which must be made in conjunction with state and territory governments who regulate it. 

The change will come into effect on 31 January 2021.

At Lifeblood we’re continuing our focus to make it easier for all Australians to give blood, while always ensuring Australia’s blood and blood products are as safe as possible for blood recipients.

Information on the review

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