Today at 8:30 am, the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA) blanketed the morning plenary of the 3500-person 2011 National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC) in Atlanta, GA with a call to action for transgender justice.
Our two page letter states:
In the United States, the transgender and gender variant population is disproportionately affected by HIV, with prevalence estimates ranging from 15-42%.
Transgender people of color, more than any other community, report HIV infection at substantially higher rates. Institutionalized and racialized transphobia, structural violence, and discrimination contribute to both the severity and the invisibility of the epidemic among transgender and gender non-conforming people.
In order to meet the President's goals of reducing new HIV infections and reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities as laid out in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, we need:
- standardized data collection that accurately reflects individuals' sex and gender
- prioritization of research informing HIV prevention, treatment and care for transgender people, including institutionalized collaboration between transgender communities and researchers
- demonstrated inclusion of transgender people in presentations and publications, or justification of the reasons for excluding them
- training and educational materials about what is known about transgender people and HIV and how to improve surveillance, research and programmatic efforts.
The social drivers of injustice against transgender people, including stigma, discrimination, economic marginalization and mass imprisonment, are the very same drivers of the HIV epidemic in the United States. Thus, transgender justice is an integral part of HIV prevention justice.
The letter invites participants to pledge to actions towards transgender justice whether we are providers, researchers, funders and/or people living with HIV and other activists. All are invited to join the HIV PJA Working Group on LGBTQ Rights and Liberation, which will be caucusing throughout the conference.
For the full letter text, click here or go to www.doseofchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/NHPC-transgender-letter-final-draft.pdf.
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