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down under msm can gave blood (BLOOD DONATION)
Feb 10, 2008

Sexual activity - Is there any kind of sexual activity that will affect my ability to donate blood?

If you have any reason to believe you may have acquired an infection through unprotected sex, you should not donate.

Safe sex practices are vital to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. However, 'protected sex' is not 100% effective and therefore the Australian Red Cross Blood Service's guidelines relating to sexual activity are based on the prevalence of infection in certain population groups.

The following questions are asked in regard to sexual activity:

Have you ever thought you could be infected with HIV or have AIDS? In the last 12 months have you engaged in sexual activity with someone who you think might answer yes to any of the questions on the use of drugs, partner with HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HTLV, or treatment with clotting factors? Since your last donation or in the last 12 months have you had sexual activity with a new partner who currently lives or has previously lived overseas?

Within the past twelve months have you:

Had male to male sex? Had sexual activity with a male who you think might be bisexual? Been a male or female sex worker (e.g. received payment for sex in money, gifts or drugs?) Engaged in sex with a male or female sex worker?

If the answer is 'yes' to any of the above questions, then a 12 month deferral is applied.

Thank you for your email. Dr Pink has passed your email on to me for response in my capacity as National Donor and Product Safety Specialist.

As you note, there is a 12 month deferral period for anyone who has engaged in male to male sex. Given that the event in question took place beyond this timeframe, you should be eligible to donate, provided you meet all other donor selection criteria.

Yours sincerely

Dr Anthony Keller National Donor & Product Safety Specialist Australian Red Cross Blood Service 97 Great Eastern Highway Rivervale WA 6103 Australia

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I combined your two posts. Obviously Australia has a much more logical and scientifically sound policy than the U.S. But even the Australian policy has room for improvement. For instance, with today's testing methodology, a twelve-month deferral period is excessive in my opinion.

Thanks for forwarding this information. (FDA, are you reading this??? I certainly hope so!)

Dr. Bob



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