However, India has taken this rule one step further and banned the entire LGBT+ community from donating blood— with the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) labelling the community as a “high risk group”.
The restriction was only discovered after a ‘Right To Information’ request was filed by prominent activist Chetan Kothari on April 26, DNA reports.
A senior internal medical specialist at Hiranandani Hospital in Vashi—Dr Farah Ingale—made a sweeping assumption about the LGBT+ community and why the restriction is in place.
“They are categorised as high-risk group mainly because they have multiple sexual partners and there is a high incidence of HIV,” she told DNA.
“There are tests before blood transfusion, but they are not 100 per cent accurate every time. So, it is better to avoid rather than taking risks. In India, not many are aware about their medical history."
LGBT+ activist Harish Iyer told DNA that rule was discriminatory, saying that technically, everybody is “high risk”.
“The blood given to any laboratory needs to be tested,” he said.
“If a straight person donated blood, is it offered to a beneficiary without testing? What's the point in declaring an entire community as high-risk? This is nothing but discrimination. Don't the non-LGBT people engage in high-risk behaviour?
“The medical fraternity needs to stand up against this."