Donating after travelling

Take the travel quiz

With just a few clicks, find out when you can donate next. 

Note: this information is provided only to inform when you can give blood, and what kind of donation you can make after travelling. It’s not intended for any other purpose, like travel health advice. If you’re still not sure or have other questions about whether you can donate, call 13 14 95

Why wait to donate?

Even if you do everything 'right', it's possible that you can still catch something and not realise: especially in areas that have a high risk of certain infections carried by insects, animals or people. You could even feel well and have no symptoms at all.  

Check out some of the blood-borne infections travellers can be exposed to:  

Malaria

Check whether your trip was to a high malaria risk area on the travel quiz.  

Malaria is the most common infection carried by mosquitoes in tropical and sub-tropical areas. You can give plasma as soon as you return, but you’ll need to wait four months to give blood or platelets. After that, we can test for malaria antibodies. We’ll be in touch if the malaria antibody test is positive. 

Papua New Guinea (including docking in a port even if you don’t leave the ship, but not including airport terminals) has a risk of relapsing malaria. That means that even if you test negative for antibodies, we’ll only be able to use the plasma part of your donation for three years after your return. 

HIV

Check whether your recent activities are affected using the travel quiz.  

Some countries have a high rate of HIV, the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).  

If you have sex with someone who lives in one of those countries, you’ll need to wait 12 months after the sexual activity (even if it was with a condom) to reduce any possibility of HIV transmission. 

Dengue fever

Take the travel quiz to find out if your destination had a dengue risk.  

Dengue is another mosquito-borne infection in tropical and sub-tropical areas. There are sometimes dengue outbreaks in areas of far north Queensland, and we’ll always let local donors know when that happens. 

You can give plasma as soon as you return, but you’ll need to wait 4 months to give blood or platelets.  

That includes if you were docking in a port and never left the ship, but not inside airport terminals for a stopover. 

Ebola virus

Check the travel quiz to see if your destination was affected by Ebola.  

Ebola is a dangerous virus transmitted through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. There have been outbreaks across several African countries. You’ll need to wait eight weeks to donate if you’ve been to an affected area. 

 

Malaria

Check whether your trip was to a high malaria risk area with the travel quiz.  

Malaria is the most common infection carried by mosquitoes in tropical and sub-tropical areas. You can give plasma as soon as you return, but you’ll need to wait four months to give blood or platelets. After that, we can test for malaria antibodies. We’ll be in touch if the malaria antibody test is positive. 

Papua New Guinea (including docking in a port even if you don’t leave the ship, but not including airport terminals) has a risk of relapsing malaria. That means that even if you test negative for antibodies, we’ll only be able to use the plasma part of your donation for three years after your return. 

West Nile virus

Check the travel quiz to see if your destination had a West Nile virus risk. 

Another virus carried by mosquitoes, West Nile virus can be found across most of North America, including the United States and Canada — surprisingly far from the Nile. 

You can give plasma as soon as you return, but you’ll need to wait 4 weeks to give blood. 

That includes if you were docking in a port and never left the ship, but not inside airport terminals for a stopover.  

 

Zika virus

Zika is another mosquito-borne virus in some countries. All of those countries overlap with those that have a malaria or dengue risk, so we’ll ask you to wait before you donate.  

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), or ‘mad cow’

VCJD is an incurable and usually fatal brain disease. There’s currently no reliable screening test for it. Because of an outbreak in the United Kingdom (UK), you won’t be able to donate if you lived there between 1980 and 1996 for a total (cumulative) time of 6 months or more, or have received a blood transfusion since the start of 1980. 

We’ve put together some more information about vCJD, or you can check our travel quiz for more.  

 
 

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