Institution: Transgender Equality Uganda
Country of work: Uganda
What is your motivation for becoming an HIV cure advocate?
Advocate to help my fellow young transgender women to be a voice and not a victim. Many of my fellows have been diagnosed with HIV; due to lack of friendly health care services they have decided to hide away from the society, they do not seek HIV care services and do not adhere to their drugs and in the end, they lose their lives. I need to make a change and make them realize their worth and counsel them out to see the better tomorrow through peer mechanism and advocacy.
What advocacy work are you currently engaged in?
I work as a Peer Educator with Transgender Equality Uganda, an activist organisation whose core is access to rights and access to health services, improvement of welfare to the transgender community and sex workers. We build on the human rights-based approach to programming by seeking to realise the rights of transgender people and sex workers. We promote gender equity through examining the relationship between transgender women and sex workers to ensure that neither gender is being marginalised nor disadvantaged by the interventions put in place. We also work to reduce vulnerability with a special focus on the alleviation of poverty among transgender people to be able to have access to health services, particularly HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support to those undergoing abuse, threats, incarcerations, denial and others.
How do you think knowledge learned from the Advocacy-for-Cure Academy will influence your current work?
The training will boost my advocacy work on HIV and AIDS issues. I will learn new concepts, which will help me to use the knowledge acquired to share the information in the trans-community and build on their capacity in areas of HIV and SRHR. I will also use the knowledge gained to build my fellow transgender peer educator’s capacity to effectively respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. With the knowledge that I will have acquired, I will bring my expertise back to Transgender Equality Uganda and train the trans-women, sharing all that I have learnt which will help to improve their capacities.