Media Release
Wednesday December 27th 2023
"This is an important step towards the kind of blood equality thousands of gay, bi and trans Australians have been seeking for years." - Dr Sharon Dane
The Let Us Give campaign has welcomed Lifeblood's confirmation that it wants to lift the current gay blood ban and instead asssess all donors for their individual risk.
Lifeblood CEO, Prof Stephen Cornelissen, has announced in an article in the LGBTIQA+ media that Lifeblood will make "a submission to the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) in 2024 seeking approval to commence individual risk assessment for blood donation".
Up until now Lifeblood has championed plasma-only donation for gay and bisexual men and transgender women, and has been non-committal towards whole blood donation under a regime where all donors - gay, straight, cisgender and transgender - are screened for their  individual risk.
Let Us Give spokesperson, Dr Sharon Dane, said,
"We are very happy Lifeblood is now openly committed to the position we have been advocating for some time."
"We have repeatedly said the supply of safe blood would be optimised if gay and bi men and trans women are able to donate whole blood under an individual risk assessment regime, as well as being able to donate blood plasma."
"Lifeblood's previous preference of only allowing plasma donation would have replaced an old form of discrimination with a new form, effectively making gay and bisexual men and trans women second-tier donors."
"Assessing all whole blood donors for their individual risk will ensure there is a new source of safe whole blood and that the blood supply is less discriminatory."
"This is an important step towards the kind of blood equality tens of thousands of gay, bi and trans Australians have been seeking for years." 
"We will continue our campaign to ensure there is public and governmental support for blood equality."
Currently, gay and bisexual men and transgender women must abstain from sex for three months before donating blood. 
The Government has approved a Lifeblood proposal to allow them to donate blood plasma, but not whole blood.
Under the system advocated by Let Us Give, all whole blood donors would be asked the same sexual risk question, specifically, whether they have had anal sex with new or multiple partners in the last three months. They would be allowed to donate if they answer "no".
This system, called individual risk assessment, effectively lifts the current gay blood ban and applies in a number of countries similar to Australia, including Britain, Canada, the US and the Netherlands.
Lifeblood has been researching attitudes towards individual risk assessment among existing donors and how the system works overseas.
"Clearly, Lifeblood's research has shown that individual risk assessment is widely supported and that it works", Dr Dane said.
For Prof Cornelissen's article go to
Attached is a table showing the advantages of whole blood and plasma donation over the plasma-only option previously proposed by Lifeblood.
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information: Dr Sharon Dane 0403 895 268 or Thomas Buxereau, 0415 896 886