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Author Topic: World AIDS Day 2018  (Read 127 times)


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World AIDS Day 2018
« on: November 30, 2018, 08:49:37 PM »
World AIDS Day 2018

HIV Consumer Alliance of WA: An Independent Non-Aligned Research Hub providing Information & Educational Resources for Health Consumers in Perth, WA.

Tranz4mations AU is delighted to announce on this important day that we have joined forces with a group of concerned community members and allies from the HIV+ and the Trans & Cross Dresser Communities to establish a new "HIV Consumer Alliance of WA. This is the first HIV Consumer Alliance that will have a positive bias towards providing information to the Transgender and Cross Dresser Community.

Tranz4mations hopes you will support this new venture by liking and sharing the page so that together we can un-erase Transgender & Cross Dressers starting on World AIDS Day.

I didnít existí: living as a HIV-positive trans woman... HIV-positive trans women have only ever existed as an 'other'; an invisible subset of gay. This has been the case for years. It is symptomatic of the overt and covert stigma and discrimination that trans people face on a daily basis.

The quotes above and below, highlight both how HIV disproportionately effects Trans People and more alarmingly demonstrates how Establishment HIV Organisations have failed in their duty to maintain #equity in service provisions. An example of this in "action" can be seen in the way this year's World AIDS Day posts on social media make mention of Women, Gay Men and Bisexuals while Transgender People with HIV seem absent or erased from the public discourse, as if they don't exist.

It is however an enlightening experience to compare and contrast the vibrant approaches of the Eastern States AIDS Organisations with the dull elitist closed door model used in Western Australia. Over east all this week there have been inclusive events, information stalls, free red ribbons for all, really great educational videos and awareness activities actively encouraging participation of members of the public and clients to get involved and be included. In contrast in Western Australia there's a showy light show, thanks to the City of Perth, a video that had to be hidden as it was panned all over Australia for being offensive, a cocktail party for the StyleAID fashion set but we haven't see anything published or been sent an invitation to any events for positive people, so we can only assume there is nothing on for the most marginal people.

It's ironic a female board member of POWA stated that they don't have capacity as an excuse for their do nothing policies and yet as you can see the people behind this website are both more than capable and have for years been willing to engage with the small clique in charge of everything but have been ignored, had nasty intra-community smear campaigns against us and most recently been banned from attending the WA AIDS Council's AGM.

We can only assume that productive members of the Transgender and Cross Dresser communities are not welcome at the WA AIDS Council which begs the question, are the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists #TERFS, those who think trans women are men, in charge of the invite list? Perhaps it's time for a shakeup to get rid of the dead wood or perhaps the Minister for Health, currently Roger Cook from the ALP, can indicate to the People of Western Australia just when the AIDS Messiah will come to save us from cliques, and what party will they be from, because there's always got to be a party involved.

The President of Tranz4mations AU stated "Having a partner who has HIV and is now in a aged care home, I am very  concerned that he is given the care and respect he deserves, The number of older trans people that are forcibly erased by so called religious and public organizations that run these homes is inexcusable. The organizations should be more compassionate and accountable to the needs and wants of the aged LGBT+ Consumers". 

To those of us that follow LGBT funding arrangements we know that one of the perennial problems is that by the time the funds collected "our name" are distributed as services and programs first to Lesbians, then Gay Men & Bisexuals there is usually nothing left over other than tokenistic gestures for Transgender and Gender Diverse People. What The Transgender Day of Remembrance and the World AIDS Day Events highlight is that if you are a mature age, over 25 years old, gender diverse person then there is nothing in the way of services from taxpayer funded organisations and this reflects badly upon the WA Government which continues to hand out tax payer funds with little or not oversight as to equity of outcome for consumers. It really is time for this to change!

In Western Australia Transgender People seem to be absent completely from representation within the HIV Organisations which begs the question why is this so? In this era of identity politics where left wing organisations are supposed to be all on the diversity bandwagon, how is it that Transgender & Gender Diverse People are considered unworthy of even a token inclusion? Surely there are plenty of Transgender people who would benefit from one of the many free trips to the East Coast which come with free accommodation in luxurious city hotels. Perhaps the AIDS Organisations haven't looked beyond the established clique of regular frequent flyers.

Transgender people are at heightened risk for HIV transmission, even when compared to other key populations at high risk of contracting HIV. In most countries, stigma and social factors reduce access to healthcare and HIV services for  transgender individuals. The limited health-related data for transgender persons worldwide are consistent: transgender women (individuals whose sex assigned at birth was male but currently identify and/or express as female) are almost 50 times more likely to be HIV positive than other adults of reproductive age.

The, above, quote once again highlights the role Stigma plays as a barrier to accessing HIV support services. A social factor that is not often discussed but which was raised at both The LGBT Health Strategy Consultation & the Department of Health's BBV & STI Consultation was the lack of a culture of confidentiality surrounding HIV in Western Australia. Perhaps if the WA AIDS Council (#WAAC) and the Positive Organisation of WA (#POWA) had cultivated and nurtured this best practice then more people, not just Transgender people, would attend events and volunteer to build capacity, which we note seems rather lacking, especially in the areas of Trans Rights. e.g. HIV+ Trans Women in Men's Prisons which is busily being ignored by those at the top. 

On this World AIDS Day Tranz4mations in collaboration with the HIV Consumer Alliance of WA call for the AIDS Industry to put their money where their mouths are and create cultures that are conducive to maximising participation and capacity. Feminists are quick to tell us that diversity builds capacity so if this is in fact true then allowing Trans People & Cross Dressers to safely participate can only bring organisational rewards.

Below: For anyone who has read the studies on this website these alarming Domestic Violence statistics and their impact on HIV+ people are nothing new. What is a sad indictment on the Leaders of the LGBT & HIV+ Community is that this publication date demonstrates they have known about this major problem since 2012 and nothing has been done, in fact other surveys show that the rates are only getting worse, especially in the Lesbian & #TERF cohorts. The first study of this kind in Perth was conducted by Murdoch University in approx 1996 and yet here we are in 2018 and we have seen no comprehensive interventions to address the harm from Domestic Violence and the Meth Crisis which is crippling the HIV+ & LGBT Communities.

The prevailing excuse that not talking about the issues of Domestic Violence and the LGBT Meth Crisis, which is known to be directly linked to increased risk of BBV & STI transmissions, stems from a desire to not make the community look bad is really false. The truth would seem to be more about Lazy leaders not wanting to highlight their own incapacity to do anything other than write menus for executive cocktail parties.

In 2012, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released the Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-Affected Communities report. Among the key findings were that transgender people, people of color, gay men and people under 30 were groups that were most impacted by intimate partner violence.  The report found that transgender survivors were two (2.0) times as likely to face threats/intimidation within violent relationships, and nearly two (1.8) times more likely to experience harassment within violent relationships.

Below, As Nicola Stevenson, President, Tranz4mations AU states "The disparity between rich and poor and intra-community bullying are very noticeable within the trans community. Economic privilege restricts socialisation and creates a divide between being passable and having to accept physical features that a person has to live with & this is true for Males/Females and can lead to them being institutionalized in a mental hospitals or undertaking suicides because they can no longer live in the original body they where born with".

It seems to be too easy for HIV+ & Trans Leaders to apportion blame and fears of safety to outside community sources. Our Anecdotal evidence suggests that intra-community bullying is the elephant in the room everyone is dodging around. On this World AIDS Day we call for an end to the silence. There needs to be a zero tolerance towards toxic behaviour and peer pressure needs to be exerted upon individuals to ensure that actions/statements which are known to be triggers for suicidal feelings stop being considered acceptable in public and private spaces. 

Systematic discrimination, alienation, and physical attacks ó often unpunished by local authorities ó make it hard for transgender women to feel safe expressing their gender identity... The most recent annual US Transgender Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 29% of 28,000 respondents experienced poverty compared to 14% of the overall US population and 15% of respondents were unemployed compared to just 5% of the broader population.

On this World AIDS Day, Trans4mations calls for there to be greater transparency surrounding the WA Health Department's publication of treatment uptake Statistics as it would appear that the public figures are overstated and the reality is the number of people on HIV treatments is lower as stated at the BBV & STI Consultation Workshop.

As the #UEqualsU Campaign demonstrates, HIV treatment with Undetectable Viral load means transmission is prevented. It is regrettable that this stategy, along with a reduce stigma campaign has not been implemented in WA. Is this because AIDS Organisations in WA have long benefited from having fewer complaints lodged by consumers with HIV as high stigma and the real fear of breaches of confidentiality lead to the acceptance of bannings based on personality conflicts with staff, substandard service and people tolerating organisational abuse?

Tranz4mations welcomes the National Association of People with HIV/AIDS' (#NAPHWA) call for a National rollout of the UEqualsU Campaign, though we hope that this time National actually means National and not the usual Eastern States only model with smaller states being considered not important enough to benefit from reductions in stigma and discrimination.

According to the National HIV Criminalization Survey, 58% of transgender PLHIV believe it is reasonable to avoid HIV testing due to fear of HIV criminal prosecution and general distrust of the criminal justice system.

Above, Tran4mations AU notes that there are increasing numbers of people and groups calling for the State Government to implement HIV decriminalisation in Western Australia. This is a real test of WA Labor's commitment to Equity and the most vulnerable and exploitable populations. It is disappointing that it seems that the benefits from having a progressive government have not yet trickled down to HIV+ People including LGBT Positive People who remain the most marginalised and erased from the community.

While we welcome the fact that a number of Reports are said to have been commissioned it is disappointing that the Peak Bodies representing HIV+ people seem to have a recalcitrant attitude to lobbying for reform. Perhaps this State of "go slow wait awhile" might not hapan if the doors of the HIV Leadership Community were open to members of the Trans & Cross Dressing Community who have been knocking "on the door of constructive engagement"!

Maybe the UEqualsU campaign can include an educational video explaining to the regressive left leaders of Perth that the clothing of Transgender People & Cross Dressers is not a threat to National Security. After all the Habits of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were not banned from the Gillard Government's Senate Inquiry into FIFO/DIDO Workplace held up the road from West Perth at Parliament House. But perhaps the real point of the closed doors is that small groups are easier to control?

What we do know is real is as Tranz4mation's President Nicola Stevenson states "Trans women in prisons are generally in a male prison and are vulnerable to rape, violence, drug addiction and spend most of their time in solitary confinement leading to anti social behaviors because of this forced separation from fellow prisoners. Getting trans woman into female prisons leads to more sociable prisoners with the opportunity for rehabilitation as they are with their own kind, for as we all know trans woman are women".

Today every person living with HIV in a state with laws that criminalize HIV is just one misunderstanding or disgruntled partner away from finding him or herself in a courtroom. A minor infraction of the law or negative encounter with law enforcement while HIV-positive could lead to a felony conviction, a lengthy prison sentence, public shaming and/or registration as a sex offender.

This World AIDS Day it is important to acknowledge and remedy the failures of HIV Organisations to consult properly with consumers. The imposition of the seemingly negligent, in regards to HIV transmission prevention, HIV medication co-payment and what is understood to be the soon to be implemented "LGBT Health Strategy increase of fees" for service at the M Clinic, decided through back room deals, by in bed together service providers are cases in point.

As Nicola succinctly put it "It is imperative that the HIV/AIDS consultation process involve trans people especially trans women on the margins of the community as a large percentage may have HIV through sex work and abusive relationship sex, as well as those who are in the wrong prison from their gender identity".

The principle of Meaningful Involvement of  People Living with HIV  and AIDS (MIPA) in all aspects of HIV and AIDS programming, seeks to promote the integration of People Living With HIV (PLWHIV) in the planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of interventions addressing HIV and AIDS. Such an approach is critical to the ethical, efficient and effective response to HIV and AIDS.

Tranz4mations and the Health Consumer Alliance of WA understand that on World AIDS Day 2018 the WA AIDS Council will release their very own MIPA audit. We call for this report to be transparently available as a free download on the WAAC website so concerned members of the Community, tax payers who paid for it all and Consumers can access the report.

MIPA is not just inviting somebody to come to a meeting and vote. It's also making sure you reduce all barriers to their participation. I encourage organizations to consider if they even have protocol for expectations about involvement of people living with HIV, people of color, people who are not cis heteronormative, to be involved in decision-making processes. Does your organization have any sort of mandate around representation on the board? Do you have any protocols about how new programs get designed?

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Abbey of the Black Swan Media Annuncio, Said, "My Name is Mary-Jane and as I am only here to help, I have a few questions and suggestions for the Board of WAAC. I would like to know if WAAC's MIPA report is going to be another creative writing PR exercise or will it address the very real  and obvious MIPA failures? For example will the Board answer, is it true that the WAAC AGM only went ahead with the Chair's Proxy forms?

How will WAAC MIPA explain how exactly does banning Clients & Members of the Trans and Cross Dressing Community from the AGM fit in with maintaining the integrity of the MIPA Principles? How does calling the Police on the Sister's "Make The AIDS Council Great Again" "No More fees" & "Get Trans Women out of Men's Prisons" Protest, done with Police permit, fit in with MIPA? Can anyone iron out my confusion, the Police said they were called by WAAC but the CEO, who as the footage shows, was not in the office when the Police arrived, states they were just passing by, who is really correct? How exactly can three fat old nuns on the footpath block 5 car bays or was it all about hiding the exclusive gourmet catering van?

My suggestion to the WAAC Board is if they really want to look like MIPA is important then they should come down out of their Swiss Banker Style Towers and actually meet and greet with the people whose lives are effected by their decisions? Perhaps they might find that the riff raff are not so revolting up close and personal. If that's too hard then perhaps they could send a Board Member to client events who talks to everyone as per the previously mentioned "Feminist's diversity & inclusion policy" and when will the "WAAC email out system to ALL Clients be fixed" so that the riff raff get invited to the tax payer funded events or would they like the new HIV Consumer Alliance of WA to manage that like NAPWHA in Sydney manages POWA's emails?

If it's about capacity and providing consumers with the best possible service, then is it time for that proposed Merger of the ALL BBV & STI NGOs into the 'One Stop Shop' Perth Sexual Health Clinic?"     

Australia's peak Aids organizations and scientists have announced an end to the Aids epidemic, as the country joins the few nations in the world to have beaten the syndrome.

On this World AIDS Day, The above quote reminds us of George Bush standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier announcing Mission Accomplished when the truth is nothing but yet another glorified PR campaign. People are still getting, living and dying with HIV or abandoned by state services in federally run old people's homes, in this brave new era of "out of sight out of mind" health care and consumer protection.

There are a variety of ways that domestic violence may put victims of domestic violence at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS; ways in which abusers use their own or the victim's HIV+ status as a weapon of coercion; and additional obstacles to health and safety that exist for HIV+ people who are also victims of domestic violence.

The President of Tranz4mations puts it well when she says "As the LGBT+ population ag's and moves into retirement homes, the hidden issues will become more apparent, Living with HIV and being Trans in an aged care facility run by a narrow minded religious organizations and poorly managed unaccountable 'homes' can sometimes lead to forced de transition by uncaring staff. Gender dysphoria is real and the pain so great that self harm may be the only option because of the distress associated with it. There is still Stigma and fear surrounding HIV and many gay and trans people are left abandoned and lonely and vulnerable by Family's and loved ones, even in some cases using a trans person's dead name on the death certificate when the end finally comes".

Where is the vision for leadership in the HIV community? People who have been doing amazing work for decades who are verging on retirement... What is the challenge in cultivating leadership? Is it a fear of sharing power?... Organizations can set up systems that allow for new voices, that provide for constituent feedback, that allow leaders to grow into positions. Other fields do this, actively -- but not HIV.

We would like to acknowledge and Thank the Margaret Court Community Outreach Program for their Emergency Food support given to HIV+ People, including those from the LGBT Community, which is not available from the funded AIDS Organisations in WA. It is easy to criticise someone for their religious beliefs, but it should be recognised that although during the Marriage Plebiscite Mrs Court was extensively bullied and smeared by "the gays in charge" for exercising her right to speak her opinion, the MCCO has never banned HIV+ and LGBT people, when they have sought emergency food relief.

Below are some quick facts on MCCO:                               

    MCCO supports around 550 families and individuals per week
    Provides 3,000 meals (20 tonnes) every week
    Assists over 10,500 people annually including those suffering from various
    forms of physical, emotional and mental distress and illness.
    Cares for broken and hurting people Provides Crisis Care and Counselling
    Had a dedicated team of over 70 volunteers and 12 consultant personnel

The HIV Consumer Alliance of WA and Tranz4mations AU would like to wish everyone a Happy, Safe and Inclusive World AIDS Day for 2018, where ever you may be.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 11:33:40 AM by Mary-Jane »
Definition of Hats aka "Conflict of Interest" Statement: Mary-Jane is Editor of Perth Gay News, The Media Annuncio of the Perth Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of the Abbey of the Black Swan & Editor @ HIV Institute of WA.

#Twitter @AbbeyBlackSwan1

Tranz4mations :: Bringing the Gender Diverse Community Together

World AIDS Day 2018
« on: November 30, 2018, 08:49:37 PM »