"My Life Is Too Dark To See The Light" A Survey of the Living Conditions of Transgender Female Sex Workers in Beijing and Shanghai

Published: January 16, 2015

asia catalyst
Original Article:  bit.ly/1E8hEEA

China this report focuses on the daily life, working conditions, access to services, and legal frameworks for transgender female sex workers in
China. Transgender female sex workers face a broad array of discrimination in social and policy frameworks, preventing this highly marginalized group’s access to a wide spectrum of services and legal protections. They experience amplified stigma due to both their gender identity and their profession. Isolated and often humiliated when seeking public services, particularly in health care settings, has also led many to self-medicate and engage in dangerous transitioning practices, including on self-administered hormone use. 
 
In China, transgender people do not necessarily face outright legal penalties, but the absence of non-discrimination laws and lack of enforcement of overarching policies on non-discriminatory access to healthcare and HIV related services, means they are left without effective protection. As sex work is illegal in China, transgender sex workers are further oppressed by the police and, due to social and other factors, engage in
high risk activities that put them at increased risk of HIV and STD infection.
 
The research for this report illuminates that the community of female presenting sex workers is very complex and includes men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, and transsexuals. Their vulnerabilities to HIV and their varied health needs need to be carefully assessed, strategically targeted, and addressed. As China is in the process of drafting a new HIV/AIDS action plan for 2016-2020, now is a good opportunity to develop a specific strategy on HIV prevention and care for the transgender community.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1E8hEEA

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