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LGBT need psychological treatment: Sena minister

Sawant was replying to a House query on HIV transmission fears.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
March 24, 2015 3:44:38 am
LGBT, Shiv Sena, Depak Sawant, LGBT community, HIV, HIV treatment, natiaonal news, nation news, India news The minister was speaking in the state Legislative Assembly while responding to a query by BJP member Ashish Shelar.

Maharashtra’s Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant, who is from the Shiv Sena, triggered a row on Monday saying lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT community) were in need of “psychological treatment and counselling”.

The minister was speaking in the state Legislative Assembly while responding to a query by BJP member Ashish Shelar, who sought to know the government’s action plan to allay fears of transmission of HIV among the LGBT community.

“There is a need for psychological treatment and counselling of the community. We would work with NGOs working in the sector,” Sawant said in his reply.


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In January this year, the BJP-led government in Goa had landed in a similar row when its Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Ramesh Tawadkar said his government would set up centres to “administer treatment to the LGBT youths to make them normal”. Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar was later forced to douse the fire, claiming his minister was “ignorant.”

Meanwhile, responding to a demand by NCP’s Jitendra Awhad to make it mandatory for all blood banks to switch over to the Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) module for screening blood donations, Sawant shared plans to introduce this facility in all government blood banks, while saying that discussions will be held with private blood banks for introducing it in their facilities too.

Sawant said risk of transmission of HIV through blood donations could be reduced with the NAT technique since it had a better detection history for HIV infection in the window period.

Currently, only eight blood banks in Maharashtra — Mumbai (3), Nagpur (2), Pune (1), and Aurangabad (1), Nashik (1) — offer the NAT facility.

Sawant also informed the House that the government had plans to develop software that could provide details of HIV patients to blood banks. He, however, said fears regarding disclosure of identity of such patients was holding back the reform.

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