Lost, afraid, confused, abandoned, over-looked, pushed aside, forgotten, misunderstood, and ashamed…
These are just a pinch of the struggles that we face in the Trans community. But one of the biggest struggles we face is knowing our HIV status. In the Trans community, we need to stand up and be front and center in our health by knowing our status. By doing this, you are stating that you #RiseAbove everything that is being thrown at you.
Right now, more than ever, the transgender community is in dying need of hope. Hope that one day we can be free. Free from stigma, free from HIV, free from fear, free from death by the hands of hate. Since the start of 2017, seven Transwomen have been killed for just breathing and living their truth and we are only in April. With people killing us and HIV rising at a rapid rate, what can we do?
28% of Tran’s women test positive for HIV AND ONLY 12% REPORT BEING INFECTED. Among Tran’s women of color the HIV rate is 3 times more.
A significant number of Tran’s women either don’t know they have HIV, aren’t reporting it, or worse, aren’t getting tested. Society is feeding this monster called stigma for being trans and being HIV positive, and this stops a lot of people from getting tested and knowing their status. It makes them feel not being worth it. It’s time to put this monster to rest for good by staying in the know.
Did you know that today, April 18th, is National Trans HIV/AIDS Testing day?
Well you do now! So go out and get tested. Know your status. Don’t be in the dark about what’s going on with your body. HIV is no longer the death sentence that it used to be. Although there is no cure, there is still help. Knowing your status will save your life. Remember You Are Not Alone. You are worth it. You are valuable. Get tested!
Written by Jasmine Powell, Trans Peer Advocate