LIFE AS A RURAL TRANSGENDER MAN WITH HIV

Chelsea (not real name), 23 of age, is a transgender man living with HIV/AIDS...

Chelsea (not real name), 23 of age, is a transgender man living with HIV/AIDS from Sironko District. We encountered him on 10th August 2019 during our daylight clinical outreach. He told us about his life and how his family members rejected him because of his sexual orientation and gender identity. Chelsea told us that he had tested four times in the past two years and all results were coming out positive but he was living in fear, pain, and denial because the family and relatives are too trans-phobic, so he didn’t have anyone to confide in and share his status with. We counseled him and told him to do a confirmatory test which he did and indeed the results came out positive. It took us a while to enroll him on ART treatment because he needed a lot of psycho-social support and counseling before accepting. However, he finally accepted and he was enrolled on ART. We have continued making follow-up visits and he is showing progress in terms of adherence to treatment. He is now looking good, strong, and healthier each day that passes. Chelsea says “Now that I am getting stronger, I am considering to start up a small business to help me support myself and live a more meaningful life. I thank HOPE MBALE and Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF) for the continued support they render to me physically, emotionally and psychologically. I encourage the LGBT persons who are positive but still living in fear to open up to our Organization HOPE MBALE so that they can be helped and live a more positive and productive life’’

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