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Australia has one of the lowest blood donor rates in the world and regularly runs critically short of blood.


There is a large group of potential donors who are blocked from giving. Gay men, bisexual men, transgender women and some non-binary people who have sex with men, are expected to abstain from sex for three months before giving blood because of outdated fears about HIV infection.

If those of us who are safe to give are allowed to, there will be an extra 25,000 litres of blood available for Australians in need.

Other countries like the US, Britain and Canada have abandoned the antiquated bans based on the gender of your sexual partner. They have adopted a policy of individual risk assessment that screens all donors for the safety of their sexual activity.

The result has been blood supplies that are safer, more plentiful and less discriminatory. 

It’s time for Australia to follow their lead.

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