Today is the 28th annual observance of World AIDS Day in which organizations and individuals around the globe take the time to reflect on the devastating impact that the pandemic has had around the world.
The 2015 theme for World AIDS Day is The Time To Act Is Now, and it’s a sentiment that I agree with having lost two family members and numerous friends to it as part of the 26 million people worldwide we have lost to AIDS related illnesses since 1980.
As we in the US trans community have been painfully aware of since 2000 and the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey has put an exclamation point on, the trans community has not been immune from feeling the effects of HIV/AIDS.
The NTDS survey revealed a 2.6% overall infection rate in the trans community, and it was significantly higher in trans communities of color. The African-American trans community rate was 25% of the NTDS respondents, 11% of Latinx trans people, 7% of Native American trans people, and 3.7% of Asian American trans people.
The recently completed Positively Trans (P+) survey should give us more updated stats and a clearer picture of the policy and legal landscape faced by trans people living with HIV/AIDS once it is compiled and the initial release of survey data happens.
And as Charlie Sheen’s announcement that he has HIV has pointed out, our level of societal education about HIV/AIDSissues is lacking and needs a serious upgrade if we are going to reach the goal of eradicating it in our lifetimes.
And that education definitely needs to be ratcheted up in communities of color.
There are several World AIDS Day observances taking place here in the Houston area. There’s a World AIDS Day gathering at the Hermann Park Conservancy starting at 7:30 PM and the candlelight observance starting at 6 PM at Legacy Health Services.
There is also a film screening happening at the Montrose Center entitled How To Survive A Plague that will also kick off at 7:30 PM