There is a scary truth out there, especially involving the lesbian / gay / bisexual / transgender (LGBT) community. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), almost one in five transgender women worldwide are living with HIV and they have a higher chance of contracting the virus than other vulnerable groups, including sex workers, gay men and drug users.
This truth is truly alarming and only solidifies the fact that transgender women are indeed vulnerable to violence, stigma as well as abuse. This truth also reiterates the fact that HIV is one of the pressing societal concerns that need to be addressed.
One of the transgender women who serves as a real-life proof of this is 27 year old transgender woman Cecilia Chung. When she was arrested for soliciting and detained for a few days, she was coerced into having unprotected anal sex with one of the male inmates and as a result, she tested positive with the deadly disease.
To help Cecilia Chung and other transgender women like her, a global initiative to share news, experiences, strategies and new tools that will energize human rights movements and communities fighting HIV/AIDS has been established. HIV Advocates, an initiative supported by Levi Strauss Foundation and powered by B-Change Foundation, encourages members of the LGBT community to speak up by exploring the power of social media. Through the HIV Advocates’ online channels, the LGBT community and other stakeholders can start conversations, spark the interest of the public, come up with various plans of action and continue with information dissemination to fight HIV and the stigma that comes with it.
Join HIV Advocates today and be an ally in the fight against the disease.
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