Chairman for the Turkish Red Crescent: We don’t accept blood donations from homosexuals

The Turkish Red Crescent does not accept blood donations from homosexuals. Chairman Akar explained the reasoning behind this with the following words: “Homosexuals are a risk group in terms of blood donations. The AIDS virus* is commonly found among homosexuals.”

Source: “Kızılay Başkanı: Eşcinsellerden kan almıyoruz”, (“Chairman for the Turkish Red Crescent: We don’t accept blood donations from homosexuals”), imctv.com.tr, 23 December 2014, http://www.imctv.com.tr/2014/12/23/kizilay-baskani-escinsellerden-kan-almiyoruz/

Chairman for the Turkish Red Crescent Ahmet Lütfi Akar explained that homosexuals are not allowed to donate blood but may receive blood from the institution. He added that they do not accept donations from those who have travel to Africa either.

During a television interview, Akar had to provide the reason why potential blood donors to the Turkish Red Crescent are asked whether or not they are homosexual. Akar responded, “The AIDS virus is commonly found among homosexuals and is transmitted through same sex intercourse or by blood. We test whether or not the blood we receive contains any viruses. We use the most modern technology. We have upgraded our infrastructure. However, even though we try so hard against it, there is always the possibility of contracting a virus through blood transfusion, even if the probability is one in a million. There is a way to lower that probability. Anyone who has doubts about themselves declares as such. We have no qualms about anyone being homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. However, homosexuals are a risk group in terms of blood donation. The AIDS virus is commonly found among homosexuals and is transmitted through same sex intercourse or by blood.”

We don’t accept donations from those who have travelled to Africa either

Akar was also asked the following question: “What if someone walked up to your donation truck to donate blood and they did not identify themselves as gay?” He said, “There is nothing we can do if they do not write it down there. Only analyses may provide answers. The blood does not necessarily show anything just because someone is gay.”

Chairman for the Turkish Red Crescent Akar was asked whether or not they, as an institution, face any negative reactions. He said, “This is a scientific truth and because of that we have not yet faced any negative reactions from homosexuals. We don’t accept blood donations from those who have travelled to Africa either. This is only humane. Because when we receive one unit of blood from you, we distribute that to three people. That becomes remedy for three people. In the past, unfortunately, we have identified such issues with our donors. We identified bisexuality and homosexuality.”

*The translation has kept the original Turkish wording regarding the phrase “AIDS virus” although technically this phrasing is wrong. What the Chairman means to say here, we assume, is the HIV virus.

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