Donating after travelling form

Most people who travel outside Australia are still able to donate blood when they return.

However, travel to an area where there is a risk of exposure to certain diseases can result in symptomless infection that can be transmitted through blood transfusion.

If you’ve been overseas recently, or are planning to go, select the country that you are visiting / have visited from the drop down list below to find out when you are able to donate after you return.

Select a country from the drop down list below then click on the disease to see when you can donate on your return.

No restrictions: You are able to donate after your visit as there are no diseases in this country that impact on blood donation.

HIV (AIDS Virus)

HIV infection is prevalent among the general community in this country.

When can I donate?
If you have had sex with a person who lives there, you’ll need to wait 12 months to donate blood, plasma or platelets.

In the meantime, you can organise a group to donate blood, share the message on social media or make a financial donation to the Red Cross.

vCJD

vCJD is the human form of 'mad cow disease'. The United Kingdom has the highest number of confirmed cases, and a small number of people have been infected through blood transfusions.

When can I donate?
To avoid any risk of transmitting the disease you can't donate if you:

- have received blood transfusions in the UK since 1 January 1980.

 

If chosen country is Ireland, this applies to Northern Ireland only.

Chagas

Chagas disease is an insect-borne infection, present in this country.

When can I donate?
You can give plasma if you were born in this country or had a blood transfusion there, but you won’t be able to give blood or platelets. Have you heard about plasma?

Ebola/Marburg

The Ebola and Marburg viruses are present in this country.

When can I donate?
You’ll need to wait eight weeks to donate blood, plasma or platelets to ensure you haven’t been infected and that the disease is not passed on.
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In the meantime, you can organise a group to donate blood, share the message on social media or make a financial donation to the Red Cross.

Malaria

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infection present in this country.

When can I donate?
It depends.

If you haven’t had your blood tested for malaria, you can give plasma right away but will need to wait four months before you can give blood or platelets so we can test for malaria antibodies. Antibodies are the proteins your body makes when it fights a disease.

This applies if you were on a ship, including if you docked at a port in an at-risk country even if you didn’t leave your ship, but it doesn’t apply to airport stopovers if you stayed in the terminal.

Please note: If you were in Papua New Guinea, you’ll need to wait three years to give blood (though you can give plasma right away). That’s because there’s a risk of relapsing malaria, so a negative result for malaria antibodies isn’t enough.

Have you given plasma before?

If chosen country is Bahamas, this applies to Great Exuma Island only.

Dengue Fever/Chikungunya

Dengue and chikungunya are mosquito-borne infections that are present in this country.

When can I donate?
You can give plasma right away, or you can wait four weeks to give blood. Australia always needs plasma donations!

This applies if you were on a ship, including if you docked at a port in an at-risk country even if you didn’t leave your ship, but it doesn’t apply to airport stopovers if you stayed in the terminal.

Have you given plasma before?

If chosen country is Chile, this applies to Easter Island only.

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection present in this country.

When can I donate?
You can give plasma right away, or you can wait four weeks to give blood.

Have you given plasma before?

If chosen country is United States, this includes  Hawaii.

Rabies

Rabies is a virus present in some animals in this country and can be spread to humans, usually by an animal bite.

- You can donate blood, plasma or platelets if you weren’t bitten or scratched by an animal in this country.
- If you were bitten or scratched by an animal in this country, when you can donate will depend on the exposure and any medical treatment that may have been required (including vaccinations).

I’ll transfer you to a medical officer to talk about it some more.

If chosen country is Spain, this applies to Cueta & Melilla only.

If chosen country is United States, this does not apply to Hawaii.

This information is provided only to inform which portion of a blood donation may be used after returning from international travel. It is not intended for any other purpose, e.g. travel health advice. If you have any questions about your eligibility to donate please call 13 14 95 or visit our FAQs.
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