It’s World Blood Donor Day today (14th June). Did you know that the South African National Blood Services (SANBS) are no longer judgy to people because of their gender identity or sexual orientation? Since 2014, LGBTQIA+ people are welcome to donate blood too, provided we meet the same requirements as err’body else.
It’s a fabulous thing to do, which can literally save lives, and we can now donate as freely as any cisgender hetero person. Howevs, the whole bang shoot of us must meet the same criteria to be able to donate, which includes the following deets:
- You need to not have been on any anti-inflammatories for at least 3 days, or blood-thinning medications (there may be some other medications that they will advise you about too) for at least 7 days before donating. So, if you’ve been popping aspirin, or something for that crick in your neck, you may not be able to gift your blood stuff. You might still be able to donate your platelets though. Ask someone at SANBS on their toll-free number 0800 11 9031
- You need to not have had sex with more than one person (with or without a condom) in the last 6 months and tested HIV-negative recently. Not had sex with someone whose sexual background you don’t know about. So, new nookie is a no no in the 6 month build up to sharing and caring your blood, if you want to give your red life juice without an unwanted hitchhiking infection
- You need to be HIV-negative and free of other blood borne illnesses and infections like hepatitis B and C or syphilis to prevent from passing on more than just good vibes. Oh, and FYI, you can’t get HIV from donating blood. It’s as safe as gentle masturbation
- You need to have tested HIV-negative more than 3 weeks before donating and not engaged in any kind of behavior that may have put you at risk since
- Being with the same person in a monogamous relationship is considered a low risk and you should be able to donate if you’re in one
- It seems obviaas, but you must be healthy (no flu or other illnesses like chicken pox, glandular fever etc.)
- You need to weigh 55kgs or more. So, if you’re still a very skinny twink, you may have to wait a few years or chow down more carbs
- Go easy on the beer and cocktails the day before you donate. It’ll be awkies if the person receiving the transfusion starts to hiccup and asks to be taken to a fast-food drive-thru
There’s no reason to lie about your lifestyle anymore, so be as open and out there as your “closet” and make a massive difference to the lives of people you may never even meet. Now THAT is a random act of kindness.