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Greens call on Health Minister to back lifting gay blood donation restrictions

10 July 2023

The Greens are calling on State Health Minister Chris Picton to back the campaign to lift restrictions on gay men donating blood to help boost the state’s blood supply.

Currently, men who have sex with men are unable to donate blood if they have been sexually active within the last 3 months. On 30 May 2023, the TGA lifted sexual activity based restrictions on donating plasma, but the restrictions on donating blood remain.

“I gave notice of a motion in the Parliament last week, urging the Health Minister to raise this matter at the next meeting of National Health Ministers so that more pressure is applied to revisit this. I’ve also sent him a letter regarding this matter,” said Greens Health Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.

“I think a lot a lot of South Australians would be surprised that such restrictions still exist, particularly at a time when our state’s health system has been under so much strain. In the UK, Canada, US and France old fashioned 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’ estimates 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.