South Africa has debuted a new blood donation policy that bars anyone - male, female, homosexual, heterosexual - from donating blood if they've had a new sexual partner in the last 6 months. (This is thought to be an improvement which banned solely men who had had sex with other men). The American FDA has a similar policy so South Africa is not alone here. All the same this is potent mix of bad science and homophobia - donated blood is screened by incredibly rigorous tests to detect presence of the virus, and in no way is HIV limited to gay men. These policies result in little public safety, do much to keep HIV/AIDS - and sex for that matter - as stigmatized and taboo topics, and disincentive blood donors. Recommend policy - in South Africa, the US and elsewhere: ask donors whether they've had unprotected sex with a person of unknown HIV status in the last three months.
In other words, the new policy shifts its underlying discriminatory assumptions from gay people to all non-monogamous sexually active people. It’ll almost certainly prohibit vast swaths of the South African population from giving blood, and it sends a prudish, slut-shaming message to all would-be donors. Worst of all, the policy doesn’t make much scientific sense: Even if the South African National Blood Service is stuck with the most obsolete HIV testing technology still in use, it could still detect HIV around a month after infection. A two-month window would constitute extreme caution, three months would be excessive—and six months is just absurd.