Combating Transphobic Stigmas and Preventing Trans Community from HIV/AIDS endemic in Pakistan | TransHelp App Download

Combating Transphobic Stigmas and Preventing Trans-Community from HIV/AIDS endemic in Pakistan | TransHelp App

On Thursday, July 30, 2020 (4:00-6:00 pm, PST), Youth Advocacy Council Pakistan hosted a virtual launching ceremony of its baseline research on transgender from three districts (Peshawar, Swat, and Lahore) and Trans-help App. Through multi-stakeholder engagement and the use of digital platforms and Artificial Intelligence, Youth Advocacy Council, a registered youth-led organization in Pakistan, conduct social and educational interventions that aimed at educating, sensitizing, and empowering marginalized groups and young people in Pakistan and prevent Trans communities from HIV/AIDS and transphobic stigmas. In partnership with Gilead Sciences Inc., YAC developed an inclusive app to enhance access to health care services and combat transphobic stigmas, educate 50,000 transgender and youth and empower them to protect and secure their lives from not only HIV/AIDS but other endemic diseases. The webinar was open to experts from not only the nonprofit sector but also for the trans community, approximately 21 participants were in attendance. During the session, an overview of the baseline study, its major findings, and the preview of Trans-help App was presented.

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Webinar Agenda –

Founder and President, YAC Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Awais Abid and Co-Founder & CEO YAC Pakistan, Mohsin Khan were on hand to open the session, starting off with the introduction of the organization, a detailed explanation of the baseline study was presented involving demographics, findings based on vulnerabilities and discriminatory practices against trans communities. HIV prevalence and sensitivity of trans community against HIV were elaborated through baseline findings. Afterward, panel discussions were carried out on the following topics

Panel I: Effective Communication for Preventing HIV/AIDS transmission, moderated by Mr. Muhammad Jamil Khan, panelists for the panel were

  • Muhammad Waqas Abid (CEO, GTO Pakistan)
  • Mr. Tariq Ullah (BBC Pakistan)
  • Dr. Muhammad Asif (Medical Consultant HIV/AIDS and STI)
  • Ms. Saro Imran (CEO AAF, Pakistan)

Panel II: Stigmas, Shame, Fear in Trans community, and PLWHA and how to counter it? That was moderated by Dr. Hazeefa Khan, panelists were

  • Ms. Nayab Ali (Adviser UNDP Pakistan)
  • Mr. M. Waqas Abid (CEO, GTO Pakistan)
  • Ms. Rida Aleem Khan (Youth Advocate Australia)
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Each panel discussion lasted for 15 minutes, speakers gave insights and recommendations. During the session, participants had the opportunity to discuss and propose suggestions. Mr. Waqas Abid emphasized on promoting an active role of the family in providing a safe environment for trans persons. Acceptance and creating awareness about their right was suggested. Mr. Tariq Ullah proposed collaborations and collateral steps taken by NGOs and government to put a top on the spread of HIV. Ms. Saro Imran, transgender rights activist, shed light on the importance of forming legislation against persons who are providing false information about HIV and causing hindrance in eliminating HIV, she also emphasized on the protection of trans persons from HIV through education.

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During panel II, stigma, fear, and discrimination against the trans community and PLWHA was discussed. Ms. Rida who’s working for trans gender rights in Australia gave insights into problems faced by the community. She told me how important it is to have youth-led advocacy and committees to eliminate stigma and fear. To understand the problems of trans community, awareness on every level is mandatory. Ms. Rida further added, formulation of the task force can help in the prevention of targeted violence against trans persons. Panelist Ms. Nayab Ali recommended creating awareness through electronic media and the formation of laws to protect the trans community from HIV prevalence. Implementation of law would help control the HIV epidemic in the country and minimize burden on the already weakened health system. She further talked about the stigma associated with an HIV positive transgender within the trans community, the misery and discrimination lead to further social isolation. Stigmatization not only by the rest of the society but also by their on trans community adds up to their miseries. She emphasized on addressing these problems. Besides panel discussions, transgender rights activists also talked about their community and showed interest in joining the training of YAC in order to combat HIV and stigma.

The panelists also urged Government of Pakistan, UNAIDS, National AIDS Control Programme Pakistan, media houses such as Geo News Urdu, Samaa TV, HUM TV and other stakeholders to provide necessary technical and financial support to youth-led and community-based organizations to combat the increasing prevalence of HIV infections and stigmatization of being HIV positive.

Get in touch for any upcoming interesting webinars and Youth Opportunities at Youth Advocacy Council Facebook page.

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