Home > News > Public Health Updated 22 May 2014 Gay men may now also donate blood in SA The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has implemented a new policy on blood donations which no longer discriminates against sexually-active gay men. 3 Previously, men who had sex with men were seen as having a higher risk of being infected with HIV/Aids and were only allowed to donate blood if they were celibate for six months or longer, according to Mambaonline.However, this 2006 policy was widely criticised as being discriminatory, especially as heterosexual people who engaged in risky or casual sex were allowed to donate blood. The HIV/Aids rate in South Africa is higher among heterosexuals.The new policy on blood donations favours people in monogamous relationships, regardless of their sexuality. Mambaonline described this as "a victory for fairness and equality". According to the SANBS, anybody who has a new sexual partner will not be allowed to donate blood for six months, and anyone who has multiple sexual partners will not be allowed to donate blood – regardless of their sexuality.The Cape Times reported on Thursday that this new criteria has come into effect through the department of health.The SANBS said that since 2005 there have been no reported cases of HIV being transferred through blood transfusions.June is Blood Donor Month, and 14 June is World Blood Donor Day.Want to donate blood? Check out the SANBS map to find a blood donor centre near you. Read more:Blood donation – what our users sayTop excuses for not donating blood Exactly why should you donate blood Image: man donating blood, Shutterstock NEXT ON HEALTH24X Should it really take tragic celebrity suicides to shine the spotlight on mental health? 2017-07-24 07:36 More: NewsPublic Health advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 3 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical Should it really take tragic celebrity suicides to shine the spotlight on mental health? News Revealed: 100 Gauteng ambulances out of operation every day News SEE: Your brain might be 25 years older than your body Medical schemes 20 medical scheme myths you should not believe Medical How much sleep do you really need? Lifestyle Pregnancy not always the cause of missed periods From our sponsors How erectile dysfunction can affect relationships Coping with the fear of cancer IBS affects 15% of people around the world The evolution of asthma treatment Live healthier Here's some help... » Combat childhood obesity Childhood obesity brings future health problems 3 ways to get young couch potatoes away from the screen Are your children glued to their electronic devices? It might be time to start making some rules. Time for a break? » Stressful job leads to emotional burnout Work burnout tied to emotional eating This is why you must take annual leave Avoid burnout and use your annual leave to get some well-deserved rest. Your body and mind will thank you.