Gay Blood Donors

(Community Recognition Statement, 21 October 2020, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

On behalf of the Sydney electorate, I would like to acknowledge the successful campaign to address the discriminatory rules for donating blood, which has now achieved reform across Australia. The Therapeutic Goods Administration responded to community advocacy earlier this year, proposing that the donation postponement for donating whole blood for donors with a sexual-activity-based risk factor be reduced from 12 months to three months.

I welcome the decision by all Australian governments to use this new standard, which I also strongly supported. While blood donation rules must protect the integrity of blood supply and prevent harm from transfusions, the previous rules did not appear to be based on evidence about risk and stigmatised and discriminated against gay men and others. The new rules will increase the number of people who can donate blood to help others who need blood. I thank the many people who've worked to remove this discriminatory provision over more than a decade, including ACON, the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations and the Australian Medical Students' Association who have contacted me about working for this reform.