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 Does mom's dagga end up in breast milk? 58 minutes ago 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 Parenting Does mom's dagga end up in breast milk? News SEE: This surprising group is at risk of getting Listeriosis Medical A quick guide to sinus-related congestion Fitness The genius ab exercise that all gymnasts use, but everyone else ignores News SEE: 6 body parts that can alert you to major health problems News Most SA claims are for this dread disease From our sponsors WIN a R2 000 beauty voucher! Understanding diabetes self-management Fed up with the Phlemings? Let’s chat diabetes and erectile dysfunction Live healthier FYI » When the flu turns deadly Why the flu makes you feel so miserable Could a deadly flu strain hit SA this winter? Following an intense flu season in the US and UK, should we be worried about our own upcoming flu season? Alcohol and acne » Dagga vs alcohol: Which is worse? SEE: Why you are drinking more alcohol than you realise Does alcohol cause acne? Some foods can be a trigger for acne, but what about alcohol? Dermatologist Dr Nerissa Moodley weighs in.