Being transgender and hijra (TGH) is strongly associated with stigma and discrimination. TGH population also lack access to tailored HIV services. Alliance India has been implementing project Wajood (which means essence or identity) with support from Amplify Change since November 2015 reaching more than 10,000 TGH for providing HIV sexual health services including support in feminisation, mitigating gender-based-violence and linking to social welfare and entitlements. Wajood project is implemented with local partners in six states – Basera Samajeek Sansthan in Delhi, Lakshya Trust in Gujarat, Alliance India’s regional office in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Sangama Trust in Karnataka.

The project supports community-led action for mitigation and prevention of gender-based violence among TGH population, increase awareness and access to sexual health reproductive health services and empower the community to formulate and propose policy change to protect the rights of TG and Hijra population. The project has actively tracked and engaged inTGH policy reforms such as Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights)Bill since 2016. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament on November 26, 2019. The Bill defines a transperson as someone whose gender does not match the one assigned at birth. It prohibits discrimination against them in employment, education, housing, healthcare and other services.

Project Highlights (April 2018-March 2019)

  • Integration of sexual health services, addressing gender-based violence and linkages to social protection schemes with HIV prevention has resulted in better outcomes in terms of increased access to diagnosis and linkages with treatment, care and support services.
  • Recruiting and equipping Agents of Change, volunteers from within the community, has helped the project make new inroads in the interiors of TGH groups and homes.
  • The project also facilitated the cross-state learning visit for Gujarat State Welfare Officials in Chhattisgarh for creating TGH welfare state policies.
  • The project has also penetrated in reaching the subsets of TGH umbrella such as Jogappas & Shiva Shaktis (devotees of gods) and Hammam (TGH massage and recreational centres) based TGH.

Project Results (April 2018 to March 2019)

  • 1813 Transgender and Hijra persons received at least one of the services offered by the project
  • 1636 Received HIV testing services
  • 21 Found HIV positive and linked to the treatment
  • 374 Received STI testing services
  • 530 Linked to social entitlement services
  • 224 Received violence/crisis support

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Alliance India