December 1 is commemorated as World AIDS Day since 1988. 2018 is a very memorable year to be celebrated as the 30th anniversary of Worlds AIDS Day being initiated as a campaign from 1980s. And the theme of December 1, 2018 is “Know your status”. Unfortunately, many barriers to HIV testing still remain for trans people in Armenia. Stigma and discrimination still deter trans people from taking HIV tests. Additionally, the state does not finance programs aimed at the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, as well as HIV/AIDS among trans people. Such programs are supported only by non-governmental organizations financed by foreign grants.
Vulnerability to HIV among trans people in Armenia is increased due several factors. One of them is involvement in sex work. Another issue contributing to high exposure to HIV is sex migration.
The fact that trans people, although being under the highest risk of HIV, are omitted in the National Plan Against AIDS, demonstrates ignorance of this group by the national authorities and lack of political will to address trans community needs.
“Right Side” human rights defender NGO calls:
To the state bodies:
To revise and update the current educational programs in medical universities by including adequate and inclusive information about trans issues,
To provide training for medical staff to eliminate discrimination against trans people while accessing healthcare services.
To adopt trans inclusive codes of conducts and guidelines at the level of medical institutions,
To include trans community in the list of most at risk population in National program against AIDS.
To the Civil Society
To continue to study trans persons’ needs in the area of healthcare and react them adequately,
To develop healthcare programs based on the needs of the trans community by making services available and accessible for trans community.