In a YouTube clip posted yesterday, three gay men berated the Thai Red Cross over the humanitarian organization’s refusal to accept blood from homosexual donors, claiming that this policy was discriminatory.
The two-and-a-half minute video has gone viral, netting more than 12,000 views in one day. It has also sparked widespread debate among Thai netizens.
The man on the left in the clip explained his experience when he traveled to the National Blood Center to donate plasma:
“A man, who I am not sure if he is even a doctor, said to me that in your case, the Thai Red Cross doesn’t have a policy to receive the blood.”
He said that he got this reaction after checking “homosexual” on the Red Cross’s check-in sheet.
“What does that even mean?” the man in the middle asked. “Just because I am a homosexual, does that mean that I am HIV-positive? I’ll submit a lawsuit to the Administrative Court for discrimination.”
The men’s online protest has attracted both positive and negative responses. Their proponents insist that even though the homosexual demographic has a higher risk of HIV infection, the Thai Red Cross’s screening process is not effective.
“Why can all actors donate blood when half of them in the entertainment industry are gay?” asked YouTube commenter taka ru. “The answer is the Thai Red Cross doesn’t know what they are and they are good at pretending to be straight.”
“Some gay men are even healthier than straight men,” said azuper Waz.
Proponents of the Red Cross’s policies have insisted that such ban is quite normal.
“HIV may not be detectable within the first three months after possible exposure,” stated YouTube user Onsithan Kweekitnimit. “They just want to reduce the risk. Even though the homosexual group is HIV-prone, they did not say that all of you are HIV-positive.”
“I don’t think it’s that serious,” commented chaiyasit Thingtham. “They have a reason behind the ban. And if you really want to make merit, there are so many other ways that you can do it.”