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Greens call on Government to lift gay blood donation restrictions

14 June 2024

The Greens are calling on the State Government to back the campaign to lift restrictions on gay men donating blood to help boost the state’s blood supply on National Blood Donor Day.

Currently, men who have sex with men are unable to donate blood if they have been sexually active within the last 3 months. Last year, the TGA lifted sexual activity-based restrictions on donating plasma, but the restrictions on donating blood remain.

“Australia has one of the lowest blood donor rates in the world, and I think many people would be surprised that these restrictions still exist, particularly at a time when our health system has been under so much strain,” said Greens SA Health Spokesperson Robert Simms MLC.

“In the UK, Canada, US, and France these outdated restrictions based on sexuality have been dumped in favour of individual risk assessments that apply to each blood donor, irrespective of their sexual partner. It’s time for Australia to join them.”

The ‘Let Us Give Campaign’ has estimated that adopting an individual risk assessment model could result in an additional 25,000 litres of blood donations each year in Australia, which could save up to 162,000 lives.