THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — The Lancet, a peer-review medical journal, published a study earlier this year that suggested transgender women are upwards of 50 times more vulnerable to the HIV virus than the general public.
In addition, Harvey Makadon, director of the National LGBT Health Education, stated that some studies suggested that more than half of transgender women of color have the HIV virus.
While this is another a splash of cold water in the face reminder of the dismal conditions that exist for us, many in the trans community know these numbers are the result of rejection from society leading many to joblessness then homelessness. The number of trans people having no other option but to do sex work to survive skew the results. Regardless, the numbers are simply horrific and those of us doing sex work ought to take extraordinary steps to avoid becoming a statistic.
The Lancelot study: HIV Surveillance and Prevention in Transgender Women: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(12)70326-2
Trans women of color and the HIV virus: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446468/pdf/11392934.pdf
Facts on trans people and HIV from the Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/transgender/
Dee Dee’s story: http://www.thebody.com/content/67680/first-person-stories-from-hiv-positive-people-june.html
Harvey Makadon: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harvey-makadon-md/the-formula-for-getting-t_b_4362052.html
Here’s a transgender feature film that I’d be honored if you watched: “Lexie Cannes” http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963781332 Or via PayPal: http://www.lexiecannes.com/id13.html
THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/
Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans
Early in my transition there was pressure from men to have sex and from other girls for me to come down from my pedestal and do what everyone one else was doing, getting paid. I held fast and said no. This led to many angry exchanges. It got even more a hot issue when I came out a lesbian. Bottom line for me was I wanted to live with out the fear of hiv aids, and the safest way for me was no sex. Granted there are other ways to get hit. Not doing high risk activity did not make me any friends, and was lonely but I have my life now and I am disease free and in the end this woman of color comsider what I did worth it.
We like our cis peers have the choice to do or not to do. Not all transpoc are running around having unsafe sex. Sadly some are, however and this has been a long time commimg and sorry this is where I draw the line in the sand! Frack all of them who gave me crap for playing it safe. Frack them for the fracking hate game. They had the same choise I had and when you play Russian roulette with an automatic pistol oh well. In the words of my hero supper chicken, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it. Or you knew the play was dangerous wjen you played it.
Deanna you are right..Having sex is a choice. I understand the need to live, to be able to provide for our daily needs, but there are other ways Iḿ sure..I am a Trans-lesbian too and have never considered sex with men. I do not like men!! I also know some women can have HIV or be a carrier, therefore safety is #1 with me.. There are thousands of girls I would love to have oral sex with, but caution is my guide..I would rather have my health and be alone than have HIV or STD from a fling..
I’ll agree with you that trans-women in the sex working trade are ground zero for getting HIV+, Hep C, and Herpes, but there are also a number of trans-women unknowingly dating admirers who are also cesspools for those same diseases. The admirers, many times, know that they’re infected, and simply don’t care who they infect. Also, many admirers tend to be on the down low with other sex partners besides the one who they are dating. These admirers should also be considered ground zero for STD’s. I tell my trans-women friends to have their partners “WEAR A CONDOM”. Keep a few in your purses just in case your going to have sex. A you should tell any sex partner that, “If they don’t want to wear a condom, then they should get lost”. If they aren’t concerned for your health and safety, they’re not a date at all, but a garden variety slug you should avoid being with. I know far too many girls who have had their dreams shattered by becoming infected.
I can’t help wondering just how many trans-women died from AIDS, who got infected by their sexual partners in the late 1970’s when the HIV+ disease was unknown. Probably many of the trans-women that got infected and died were then labeled as being gay instead of being recognized as part of the trans-community.
Dee Dee is a Dear friend of mine from the St. Louis area. She is always cheerful, is Loving, and caring of others. Definately NOT a Victim. Dee Dee is a Surviver!!
Please don’t confuse what I wrote as being in agreement with the first comment response. I was agreeing with what Lexie (Courtney) had posted. I’m not saying anything about Dee Dee.
It’s great that Dee Dee is on the front lines trying to educate other trans-girls. I wish her the best.
If you read the Lancet article you should definitely read the linked correspondence on sampling bias:
Daira, thanks for the links. Many are aware that it is difficult to get a bias-free sampling of trans people. However, I’m sure you’ll agree that even if studies are a bit biased, they’re still going to be very poor results for trans people,
Having sex isn’t dangerous. Having unprotected sex is dangerous. Sex workers who practice safer sex have a lower risk of HIV infection than those who engage in unprotected sex and/or the sharing of needles.
The same is true of gay men, lesbians, and hetero men and women.
Unfortunately many sisters engage in extremely high risk activities including street sex work, IV drug and hormone use with shared needles and unprotected sex with casual partners.
Too many still think HIV/AIDS is a gay men’s disease when it affects both straight and gay people. Convincing yourself that you don’t have to worry because your partners are straight men is a dangerous way to conduct your life as HIV is out there and both sexual conduct and needle sharing are pathways to infection and the subsequent issues of living with HIV which is still a life shortening disease even though it is no longer the rapid death sentence it once was.
Remember, “No Glove, No Love!” No sharing of needles.
Play safe. The life you save is your own.
The sharing of hormone use needles is something other people have brought up as well. Take care and don’t share!
Thanks for the comments everyone!