Detailed eligibility criteria

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Safety

I'm afraid of getting a disease like AIDS from donating...

Each needle used during the blood donation process is sterile and used only once and is disposed of in a specially marked biohazard container immediately following the donation. No one has ever contracted HIV or any infectious disease from donating blood.

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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. NZ Blood Service relies on donors giving accurate information about their health and other important issues that affect the safety of blood.

You must NEVER give blood if:

  • You, or any of your current (or past) sexual partners have (had) AIDS or a positive test for HIV.
  • You carry the hepatitis B or C virus.
  • You have ever injected yourself, even once, with drugs not prescribed by a Doctor.
  • You have haemophilia or a related clotting disorder and have received treatment with plasma derived clotting factor concentrates at any time.
  • You think you need an HIV or hepatitis test.

You must not give blood for 12 MONTHS:

  • Following oral or anal sex with or without a condom with another man (if you are male).
  • After engaging in sex work (prostitution) or accepting payment in exchange for sex.
  • After leaving a country in which you have lived and which is considered to be high risk of HIV infection (includes sub Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Full list available at blood collection sessions or please call your local Donor Centre or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse to discuss your eligibility).

You must not give blood for 12 MONTHS:

  • Following sex with anyone:
    • whom you know carries the hepatitis B or C virus.
    • who is a sex worker (prostitute).
    • who has ever injected themselves with drugs not prescribed by a Doctor.
    • who lives in or comes from a country considered high risk for HIV infection.
    • who has haemophilia or a related blood clotting disorder and received treatment with plasma derived clotting factor concentrates at any time.
  • If you are a woman, after engaging in sex with a man who has had oral or anal sex with another man.

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Sexually transmitted disease (STDs)

I have recently had a sexually transmitted disease. Can I donate?

Depending on the type of STD you have or have had in the past there could be a temporary or permanent deferral that applies.

If multiple episodes of sexually transmitted infections have occurred a person may not be able to give blood donations.

After an episode of gonorrhoea - you must wait for one year from recovery and the end of treatment.

For chlamydia and non specific urethritis we will ask you to wait for 4 weeks after full recovery and completing antibiotic treatment.

If you have or have had syphilis you are not eligible to donate.

For other infections –or if you are uncertain, please call your local Donor Centre or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse to discuss your eligibility.

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Shingles

I have recently had shingles. Can I donate?

You will be able to donate when you are feeling well and the rash is completely clean and dry.

NZ Blood Service may also be able to use your plasma to provide valuable antibodies to protect people at risk of chickenpox. If you live near one of our main Donor Centres, please tell us about your chickenpox infection as soon as possible as we may wish to arrange special tests to check your chickenpox antibody level. Please call your local Donor Centre.

 

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Smoking

Can I donate if I am a smoker?

Yes however we strongly recommend you wait at least 1 hour after your donation before having a smoke.

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Splenectomy

I had my spleen removed. Can I donate?

If your spleen was removed due to trauma or physical injury you are eligible to donate 6 months after full recovery.

If you received a blood transfusion as well, you will not be eligible to donate for 12 months after the transfusion.

If however, your spleen was removed to treat a chronic illness such as immune thrombocytopaenic purpura (ITP) or lymphoma, you are not eligible to donate blood.

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Stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

I have had a stroke/TIA. Can I donate?

After a stroke or TIA it will not be possible for you to give blood again, even if you have recovered fully. This requirement is to protect your own health as you may not be able to tolerate giving a 470mL blood donation.

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Surgery

I have surgery planned in the near future. Can I donate?

If you have surgery planned within 84 days, you may be deferred if there is a risk of significant blood loss during the surgery. Please call your local Donor Centre or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325 ) and ask to speak with a nurse to discuss your eligibility.

How long after surgery will I have to wait before I donate?
The length of time to wait before donating blood after surgery depends on a number of factors. They include the condition for which you had surgery, the type of surgery and the recovery period. For most surgery this is 3-6 months but if you received a blood transfusion, the waiting period is 12 months.

If you need more information, please call your local Donor Centre or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse to discuss your eligibility.

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Systemic lupus erythematosus

I have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can I donate?

If you have SLE we will need to confirm your diagnosis. If no treatment has been needed to suppress the condition in the last 12 months, then you may be able to donate.

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