(Washington, D.C.)— In a milestone for transgender people of color representation in US HIV/AIDS advocacy work, Transgender Law Center’s Positively Trans program is at this year’s United States Conference on AIDS (AIDS), September 7th to 10th in D.C. Through workshops and two tables at the exhibition hall, Positively Trans, a program run by and for transgender people living with HIV, will showcase the work of over a dozen trans advocates from across the country.
“We are literally fighting for our survival,” said Cecilia Chung, Senior Director of Strategic Projects at Transgender Law Center and the lead for Positively Trans. “When Positively Trans surveyed transgender people living with HIV across the country, we found intense discrimination in every area of life from health care to employment to housing and public accommodations. Over 70% of our respondents rely on government plans for health care and treatment – plans that are currently under attack. Transgender people must lead our own advocacy, and we must be visible and powerful in national HIV advocacy spaces like USCA.”
Positively Trans will have two tables in the exhibit hall, marking the first year that a national trans-led organization representing transgender people living with HIV will table at USCA. Transgender Law Center will present videos produced by transgender people living with or deeply affected by HIV from across the country about their lives, along with findings from the first-of-its-kind national participatory research project conducted by Positively Trans. In addition, members of Positively Trans will host a series of workshops and panels on the work transgender people living with HIV are advancing in different regions of the country. Positively Trans has also partnered with MAC cosmetics to hold makeup tutorials for attendees at the booths.
Transgender Law Center launched Positively Trans in 2015 with the support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation as a response to the structural inequalities that drive the high rate of HIV/AIDS and poor health outcomes. By partnering with a National Advisory Board of community leaders, Positively Trans seeks to mobilize and promote resilience of transgender people most impacted by or living with HIV/AIDS, particularly transgender women of color, through research, policy advocacy, legal advocacy, and leadership strengthening. Today, the project has doubled its budget and is looking for trans leaders of color living with HIV to join our network and our effort to end violence, discrimination and AIDS among transgender and gender-non-conforming people.
Research findings, videos, and more about Positively Trans are available here: https://transgenderlawcenter.org/programs/positively-trans.