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 When the big 'C' hits close to home 2017-11-24 13:00 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 When the big 'C' hits close to home Medical How menopause harms your body Medical How to deal with hot flushes Lifestyle This type of anaesthetic could cause a painful permanent erection Partner Content Bringing life-changing tech to SA healthcare countrywide Medical Heavier women may need mammograms more often From our sponsors Discover treatments that can help reduce acne Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know Fill in our quick and easy survey and stand a chance of winning a R2000 voucher! What can I do to reduce or remove acne marks? Live healthier Watch out! » Gross fungal infections you can pick up at the gym You go to gym to exercise. But make sure the only thing you pick up is a dumbbell and not one of these gross fungal infections. Holiday health » Your 10-step asthma holiday checklist Don’t let asthma ruin your summer holiday. Whether you are travelling or embracing the summer at home, make sure you plan ahead.