In November, the city of Lima hosted a group of transgender activists from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Chile, who met to discuss various aspects related to the new model of financing of the Global Fund. Also, issues such as gender, sexuality and primary health were addressed.
The project is entitled: “articulating and promoting the participation of leader transwomen in the Andean region in the implementation of the new model of financing of the Global Fund to fight AIDS”.
Jana Villayzán, Member of Redtrans Peru, commented that thanks to the financial support of GIZ and the technical assistance of Joanne Keatley, from the Centro de Excelencia de Salud Transgénero of the University of San Francisco, they managed to bring forward this project that will benefit, not only transwomen from Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, but it will have an impact in other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Terhi Aaltonen, Human Rights and gender officer from UNAIDS Peru, commented on the importance of Human Rights in relation to HIV: “It is important to know the needs of transgender individuals and this workshop was a good opportunity to share the advances of trans-Andean organizations”.
“We are not MSM, our needs are different” said Joanne Keatley. “Transwomen have 49% more possibility than other adults to acquire HIV”. Therefore, not only access to primary health and prevention is essential, but also there are other options for development, beyond sex work, access to work and housing, in order to allow this community to overcome the stereotypes, and therefore achieve better life expectancy and also reduce HIV prevalence.
Similarly, various discussions were held on the needs of transgender populations to participate directly in the new model of financing of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, through the submission of concept notes that directly benefit this population.
One of the most important targets was to discuss and prepare a concept note, in the coming months, that complements and articulates the efforts and proposals for REDLACTRANS. “We need programs for transwomen, designed and led by transwomen” said Ximena Salazar, technical advisor of the Redtrans Peru.
Finally, this workshop was undoubtedly a big step for the reorganization of the transwomen movement in Peru. In addition, it was a great opportunity to discuss the needs that are still not achieved by the Governments in the region and require intense actions from civil society, and specifically, from transgender individuals.