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Turkey: Istanbul district launches free anonymous health service for LGBTs

Aaron Day October 16, 2014

As a first in the country, Istanbul’s Şişli Municipality has launched a free and anonymous health service for LGBTs to combat the spread of STDs.

According to Hurriyet Daily News, the district has agreed to provide free examinations and free STD tests every three month.

The LGBT association KAOS GL reports the policlinic allocated for the service will also enable patients to register with a nickname to stay anonymous.

Turkey has a poor record on gay rights: Though homosexuality has been legal in the country since 1858, sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in any civil rights law, and there is currently no legal recognition for same-sex couples.

Homophobic discrimination and violence are common, and the Turkish government last year came under pressure to do more to protect trans people in the country from murder and violence.

Tens of thousands of people turned out on Sunday to celebrate LGBT Pride in Istanbul, slated as the largest gay pride celebration in any majority Muslim country.

A gay couple in Istanbul lost their jobs, were evicted from their home, and are facing death threats from family members after holding a ‘symbolic’ open wedding last month.

More: Gay, Health, Istanbul, Medical, Turkey

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