Celibate Gay Men Will Be Able To Donate Blood

GayJOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – The South African National Blood Service will allow gay men, who have been celibate for six months, to donate blood from November 1.
The SANBS said this was one of the changes in a more streamlined questionnaire for blood donors, the SABC reported on Sunday.
“We will be able to start with these new forms and questionnaires on November 1,” said SANBS spokesperson Dr Sam Gulube.
In January the SANBS announced its plan to reword the questionnaire that potential blood donors are required to fill out to make the forms more “gender sensitive”, South African-oriented and less objectionable to the gay community.
Gulube said the delay was because of logistical reasons.
It was the phrase – “male-to-male sex” – anal and oral performed with or without protection, which caused a furore on the existing form.
If the form was reworded to say “anal and oral sex”, it would apply to heterosexuals too, SANBS spokesperson Ianthe Exall said.
Glenn de Swardt of the Triangle Project, the oldest gay organisation in Africa, said Aids was a heterosexually driven pandemic on the continent. But the medical standards employed by the blood centres to exclude gay men were based on statistics from countries where Aids was a homosexually driven pandemic.
“Anal sex is high-risk activity. Not all homosexual men engage in anal sex and lots of heterosexuals do,” he said.
from Independent Online

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