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‘If you are LGBTQ, you can’t donate blood’!

KalingaTV News Network

Image Source: Religious Action Center

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community has been the target of abject discrimination in India. This discrimination has now been taken to absurd lengths with the community banned even from donating blood. The National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) considers this sexual minority as a ‘high-risk group’. This was revealed after activist Chetan Kothari filed an RTI query seeking an answer.

Initially, when the RTI reply came in, doctors were quoted saying that this group was categorised as a high-risk group as they have multiple sex partners and have a high incidence of HIV.  It was better to avoid them than take the risk of allowing them to donate blood.

Not just India, a lot of the European nations also follow the same policy. A similar case emerged in the United States after the Orlando mass shootings at a gay club in June 2016. After blood banks in the area sought blood urgently, a group of gay and bisexual people who volunteered to donate blood were turned down saying that they were barred from donating blood.

Going by the NACO statement, if these people are considered a high-risk group, does that imply that straight people are not subject to risk. As per an avert.org report, “the HIV epidemic in India is driven by heterosexual sex, which accounted for 87% of new infections in 2015”.

An unbiased statement comes after a proper blood sample screening and shaming an entire community for that is clear prejudice and discrimination.