LGBTQ+ Blood Donation in India : The Fight Against Discriminatory

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LGBTQ+ Blood Donation in India

In India, the LGBTQ+ community is rallying against the discriminatory blood donation policies that prohibit gay, bisexual men, and transgender individuals from donating blood. Karan, a 25-year-old gay man from New Delhi, faced this discrimination firsthand when he was forced to conceal his sexual orientation to donate blood for his ailing mother.

Karan’s Dilemma

Karan’s experience highlights the dehumanizing and privacy-invading aspects of India’s current laws, which date back to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. These laws, criticized for being rooted in fear and discrimination rather than scientific evidence, are now being challenged by activists like Santa Khurai.

Santa Khurai’s Petition

Khurai, a transgender activist, has taken the issue to the Supreme Court, arguing against the blanket ban that lumps all transgender people together. The government, however, defends its stance, citing the guidelines as based on scientific facts.

Global Shift in Perspective

As nations worldwide, including the U.S., Canada, France, Greece, Britain, and Germany, move towards inclusivity by lifting restrictions on LGBTQ+ blood donors, India’s policies come under scrutiny. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for reform, as many queer individuals struggled to find donors within their community due to the existing ban.

The Call for Change

Critics argue for a more individualized risk-assessment approach, focusing on improving testing policies for all blood donors rather than imposing a blanket ban based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The push for change gains momentum as India’s Supreme Court hears a case on legalizing same-sex marriage, which could render the current blood donation guidelines even more outdated.

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