Gay, bi and trans blood is safe blood: that's the take away from a new Just.Equal Australia report into the latest research and best international practice.
The report, by Dr Sharon Dane, looks at the latest clinical research from around the world. Her conclusion is that the safety of the blood supply would not be jeopardised if
a) Australia lifts the current three month abstinence requirement for blood donation by men and trans women who have sex with men, and
b) we implement a new policy that screens all potential donors for their individual risk.
Based on the latest science, the gay blood ban has been lifted and individual risk assessment adopted in a number of other countries including the UK, the Netherlands, Argentina, Israel, and soon France and Germany. Sharon recommends Australia follows the UK model because it is the most equitable.
Modelling shows that a shift from the current gay blood ban to individual risk assessment could even increase the supply of safe blood, saving the lives of people in need.
Just.Equal has sent the report to the Red Cross Lifeblood Service, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the federal health minister Greg Hunt.