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 Can crocodile poo and olive oil prevent pregnancy? 2018-02-20 13:13 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 Lifestyle Can crocodile poo and olive oil prevent pregnancy? Parenting 7 ways to take care of your mental health during pregnancy Mental health Did Robin Williams' suicide spur 'copycat' acts? Lifestyle How to save yourself from a stroke before it’s too late Lifestyle Can eating cheese really give you nightmares? Medical SEE: Here’s something you should do every 2 hours if you sweat a lot From our sponsors Managing diabetes in the workplace Back-to-school with diabetes Discover treatments that can help reduce acne What can I do to reduce or remove acne marks? Live healthier Fact or myth? » Clearing up the confusion around coconut oil Coconut – the 'fruit of life' Can coconut oil really help you lose weight? Experts dish on the high-cal weight-loss tactic. Sobering perks! » 5 tips to avoiding a hangover Can you really be allergic to alcohol? Is giving up booze for a month actually worth it? Many people commit to "Dry January" – but does it do your body any good?