However, in July this year the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) allowed Red Cross Lifeblood to lift the ban allowing for an influx of new donors.
One of those being Kochie, who headed off to his local Red Cross this morning.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the chair,” he told the assistant.
“Donating really is part of being Australian, it’s part of being part of a community to help others because it could be you.”
Kochie had previously argued against the ban calling “stupid”. With the rule changed, he’s now urging other former UK residents to roll up their sleeves and donate.
So far nearly 21,000 previously ineligible people have donated.
While the rule change is a step in the right direction there are still limits on who can donate blood.
Currently gay and bisexual men and trans women cannot donate blood if they have had sex with a man in the three months prior to donating.
Just Equal Australia spokesman Rodney Croome told the ABC it was time we lift these restrictions.
"It's outdated, discriminatory and it means there are fewer blood donors available to save lives," he said.
"The Red Cross Lifeblood Service is literally begging people to donate, yet they're saying to gay men who are safe to donate, 'We don't want you'. It's hard to see that as anything but discrimination.”
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