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.

Final review update - January 2021

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 deferral policies, we made a submission to the Australian regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), in 2020. Our submission proposed that the 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.

Following the approval of our submissions by the TGA, subsequent agreement by all Australian governments, and an update of Lifeblood systems including the donor questionnaire form, we are pleased to report this change was applied on 31 January 2021 and is now in place for all applicable sexual-activity-based blood donation deferral policies.

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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