HIV negative and having sex with men?
You can now donate blood after 3 months since your last sexual contact with a man.
Until now, men who have sex with men have been ineligible to donate blood unless they have been celibate for 12 months. This rule has recently been eased, with The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood service announcing that from 31 January 2021, men who have sex with men are required to wait 3 months from their last sexual contact with a man before they can donate. This has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administrations, and state and federal governments. The reviewed policy includes a donation of blood, plasma, and platelets by men who have sex with men, after the 3-month celibacy period.
Nic Holas, co-founder of PLHIV group ‘The Institute of Many’ stated this is a growing movement around the world” and is “more in line with the science of HIV transmission in 2021”. Holas also highlighted how we are on the road to ending HIV in Australia and once we achieve that, we will not need the 3-month deferral period.
Throughout the review of the deferral policy, health reasoning, risk and safety, as well as discrimination and exclusivity were taken into consideration to improve the supply of safe blood in Australia. While some say it still discriminates against many who wish to donate, it is a good step in the right direction.
Listen here: Listen to the ABC Radio interview with Sammy J interviewing Nic Holas, co-founder of The Institute of Many. abc.net.au/radio/…/nic-holas-sammy-j/13107942
For more information: Visit the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website or click here for FAQ: donateblood.com.au/postponements