Gay Men Now Allowed to Donate Blood in South Africa

South Africa has ended its ban on blood donation by gay men, Mamba Online reports:

BloodOn Tuesday, Vanessa Raju, SANBS Communications Manager, confirmed to Mambaonline that a new non-discriminatory policy had been put in place that favours people in monogamous relationships, regardless of their sexuality.

She said that anyone who has a new sexual partner will not be allowed to donate blood for six months, and that anyone who has multiple partners will not be allowed to donate blood. Both criteria are irrespective of a person’s sexual orientation.

“This policy would apply to me, for example, who’s just started dating someone new,” Raju added. “But people who are in monogamous male same-sex relationships [for more than six months] can now donate.”

She explained that the previous policy had been put in place on the basis of international statistics and trends. “It took us a while because we didn’t have local facts that warranted changing our policy, although we knew South Africa was different from other countries in terms of risk of HIV,” said Raju.

The U.S. still prohibits blood donation by any man who has had sex with another man since 1977. Last August, 84 Democratic lawmakers led by Senator Tammy Baldwin urged HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to end the ban, saying that it “continues to perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes against gay and bisexual men and fosters an atmosphere that promotes discrimination.”


  1. kujhawker says

    To think 25 years ago I went to divestiture rally’s to protest South Africa’s antiquated backward thinking. Now they are forward thinking and am the one living in a backward country.

  2. AuthlimofXvim says

    @kujhawker we still have a long way to go in the fight for peoples hearts and minds in South Africa. Like in many places in the world its easier to be an LGBTI individual if you live in a city, if your family is supportive and if you and your family are middle income or above. A 2013 survey showed that 61% of respondents felt that same-sex relationships should not be allowed with 32% in favor. This is however much better than in 2008 when 84% said it was wrong. In the major urban centers LGBTI individuals are more accepted though. There have been many documented cases of lesbian woman experiencing “corrective rapes” by men and boys who feel both disgusted by their orientation and feel that traditional male authority is threatened. Studies in three of our nine provinces also showed that the number of gay males who are sexually assaulted are probably the same as lesbians and that there is gross under reporting of crimes.This coupled with our ineffective police force (due to the ruling party’s halfhearted attempts to tackle its own cronyism and corruption) and their negligent handling of many crimes in general does not make the lives of LGBTI individuals any easier

Leave A Reply