Transwomen and HIV With Dee Borrego
By Robert Breining
September 13, 2012
On Sunday, September 9, Robert and Jeromy spoke with Devarah "Dee" Borrego. Dee is a 28-year-old, HIV+ transwoman originally from Denver, Colorado, who grew up mostly in suburban Connecticut. She acquired HIV at age 20, the same year as she began her transition. She has been living in the Boston area since 2004 where she has worked with and at a number of different community organizations in the Boston area, including JRI Health, TransCEND, the Boston Living Center and Cambridge Cares About AIDS. She's also a polyglot who speaks Spanish, French, Norwegian, American Sign Language, and a variety of other languages to various degrees.
On the national scene, Dee was also a founding member of the U.S. Positive Women's Network (U.S. PWN), an organization led by and for HIV+ American women to address the way HIV disproportionately affects women in the U.S. She currently serves as a Steering Committee member of the U.S. PWN, as well as a member of their Strategic Communications Action Team. She's also a member of the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+), North America's Young Leaders Caucus, and the co-chair of the Economic Justice Working Group for the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA).
In 2010, Dee was chosen to speak at the Opening Plenary of the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA) to discuss how HIV affects transgender youth. Dee attended the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2012. At the Conference, she gave presentations along with colleagues for AIDS Alliance for Youth, Families and Children -- now a part of AIDS United -- geared at HIV+ youth and their providers on the topic of disclosure. Dee is passionate about the issues surrounding young, HIV+ people, especially transgender women, HIV prevention, HIV criminalization and youth outreach and education around HIV.
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The Positive Pitch
I describe myself as a "positive person with purpose." My goal is to help people living with HIV/AIDS discover similarities in each other ... and form friendships. I want to ease the shock of a diagnosis and remind people that our dreams are not infected. I am also an HIV/AIDS cyber-activist, radio show host, blogger and social network guru.
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