Asia-Pacific: Transgenders Assert Identity at AIDS Meeting
August 17, 2009
Few support networks, widespread discrimination, and low AIDS awareness put transgender persons at high risk of HIV infection, advocates said during the recent ninth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.
"A friend of mine who got breast implants was arrested because of sex work," said Zhao. "They cut off her hair at the detention and rehabilitation center and placed her with male prisoners."
"Transgenders live under threat of rape and other forms of abuse" in India, said Utpal Chakraborty, a People Like Us representative. "Many join the 'hijra,' the eunuch community, and undergo illegal, secret and crude castration operations," Chakraborty said.
Prevention initiatives customized to address this community can have the added benefit of elevating transgender persons' economic status and protecting their human rights, experts say.
Inter Press Service
08.13.2009; Lynette Lee Corporal