China's Lesbians Petition Government to Donate Blood
China's lesbians petition their government to donate blood. They have organized an online petition calling for gay people to be allowed to donate blood. The petition is asking the government to repeal a 1998 ban that bars gays and lesbians from donating blood.
A vast majority of China’s gay and lesbian population face discrimination and stigmatization, and most remain deeply closeted in a highly conservative society. Gay Web sites are often blocked by the government’s Internet firewalls.
China bars potential blood donors from giving blood once they have ticked the gay and lesbian box on the application form, according to a spokeswoman for the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center, who refused to be named citing policy.
“It’s a practical law because the gay community has much higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases. We must take our precautions wisely,” she said. “Even if they lie on the form and say they are straight, everyone’s blood will go through a final screening test for diseases.”
The newspaper report said there are about 30 million gays and lesbians in China, but it did not give numbers on how many of those have HIV/AIDS.
The government and UNAIDS estimate the number of people living with HIV in China is about 700,000, and of those, about 85,000 have AIDS.
The HIV virus that causes AIDS gained a foothold in China largely because of unsanitary blood plasma-buying schemes and tainted transfusions in hospitals.
The government remains sensitive about the disease, regularly cracking down on activists and patients who seek more support and rights.
In related news, a recent study by Hyeouk Chris Hahm, Assistant Professor at Boston University shows that Asian-American gay and lesbian youth face greater societal stress than other ethnic groups.
The study, done by Hyeouk Chris Hahm, an assistant professor at Boston University School of Social Work, and Chris Adkins, an HIV/AIDS clinical social worker, showed that many factors affect young LGBT Asian Americans. According to the United Press International, these factors include “central societal stresses including the role of family life, personal sacrifice for family tranquility and generational clashes, as well as external factors such as racism, sexism and acculturation.”
For many, a choice must be made between maintaining an ethnic identity and repressing their sexuality or face being rejected by their family and come out.
According to Science Daily:
“Often, the result for both young men and women is to mask homosexual behaviors and avoid alienating their family and parents’ communities. In their relationships with others, they often have to decide which identity will take precedence: an ethnic or sexual identity.”