Erika Castellanos, representing Latin America and the Caribbean in the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB, gave an intervention at the side event “Leaving no one behind: the rights and health of key and vulnerable populations” last 09 June 2016. The side event was interactive, and Erika responded to two questions:
1. Respect for Gender Identity and work towards adoption of Gender Identity laws in countries globally.
2. Continued and direct financing for key populations and specifically Trans without intermediaries for (STD/Sexually Transmitted Diseases) screening tests. We can no longer be seen only as cheap work force. We are program designers, implementers and we have the required expertise to reach our peers.
3. Access to Universal health care that is inclusive of Trans needs. That is comprehensive and competent – specifically for us. In prevention care and treatment and retention in services to reach viral suppression. Over all we do not want friendly services, what we need is quality services.
2. What can countries and the Global Fund do?
a. Countries can start by accepting key populations exist and that gay men, MSM and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, drug users and Trans exist, we are in all countries of the world.
b. Countries should include us in the political declaration in a non-discriminatory manner. Exclusion kills us.
c. We need improved data collection and countries and programs need to stop lumping us in the same data as MSM.
d. The global fund has the potential to mobilize domestic funding for key populations, supporting the transition to local ownership and improving the legal and policy environment.
e. The global fund and other donors should ensure that there are mechanisms in place to support the work of key populations in those countries where we are criminalized or where our governments lack the political will.
f. Continued financing for the advocacy work that we do.
g. The development of Tran’s specific indicators. We need specific prevention, care and treatment targets to measure outcomes for the sustainable development goals.
She ended her presentation with a quote from Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria:
“The global fund cannot end the epidemics in isolation; we will only be successful if we embrace partnerships with the community leaders among gender, human rights and key populations organizations and networks. A fully funded replenishment will allow us to continue and strengthen our engagement with the true heroes in the fight.”