Monday, 16 December 2013

Surprise: LGBTI People Get Poor Healthcare

An article issued by the Independent European Daily Express today stated:

At an unremarkable office on Bukoto Street in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, health workers and civil society activists attend a regular meeting to offer information and advice on living with HIV and AIDS. What is unusual is that these information sessions cater to a group of around 50 transgender women.

The "Come Out Post-Test Club", as the group calls itself, was established early this year as a safe space and advocacy group for trans women sex workers living with HIV. The club's executive secretary, Bad Black, says it is helping to fill a desperately needed gap in support services...

A survey by Makerere University's School of Public Health on HIV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Kampala in 2008-2009 found infection rates among this group were almost twice as high as the national average. Whereas the national infection rate on average is 7.5, according to the Uganda AIDS Commission, the Makere University survey puts the rate at around 13 percent for MSM.

Beyonce Karungi Tushabe, the executive director of Transgender Equality Uganda, an NGO working for the rights of transgender people, says it is difficult for transgender people to live with HIV in an environment where they have to keep their identities hidden.

This was also mentioned in our post on Africa's Forgotten Community. The need for anonymity is why the Ugandan government's recent U-turn on LGBTI sexual health clinics is so worrying.

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