The selected project looks to hold workshops with transvestites and people living with HIV/AIDS inside the Aníbal Bruno Prison, in the city of Recife (PE), with the objective of strengthening them to face the discrimination and violence they suffer inside the penitentiary system. The proposal includes working directly with twenty transvestites, twenty HIV-positive inmates, and twenty people born male whose sexual preference is for others born male.
The group will also promote STD/HIV/AIDS prevention methods among the prison population and their families through the spreading of safe sex information, condoms and other safe sex products and educational material.
The Aníbal Bruno Prison is the largest in population in the entire Northeast of Brazil, holding, between men and transvestites, around 4 thousand inmates, who live in precarious conditions. HIV- and AIDS-positive inmates face prejudice and discrimination, being removed from their cells and held in infirmaries, though their state of health doesn’t indicate any necessity for such measures.
The prison population, in general, has very restricted access to information about STDs/HIV/AIDS and forms of prevention. Transvestites are the biggest victims of this reality. Almost as a rule, they are required to maintain sexual relations with all the men who occupy the same prison pavillion.
Furthermore, transvestites do not have their gender identity recognized, suffering a slew of disrespect, being treated as “second-class” citizens. Cleaning, laundry and other services considered “domestic” are also reserved for them, without any compensation. When they refuse, they are victims of beatings and other sexual abuse.
The group’s mission is to bring together and strengthen HIV- and AIDS-positive people and sex proessionals (men, transvestites, and transexual women). The first NGO created and coordinated by HIV- and AIDS-positive men and women in the entire Northeast, GPT+ has been active for eleven years.
Among the activities held are the gathering and assisting of HIV- and AIDS-positive persons in requesting specialized therapeutic services and legal assistance; lectures and seminars on human rights; promotion of food security for these populations; and carrying out vaccination and other preventative procedures for HIV.
As for STD/HIV/AIDS prevention, the group has developed the project “Merchants of illusions,” which promotes prevention, citizenship, empowerment and autonomy for sex professionals.
The group has representatives in areas of social control, acting to build policy and develop human rights-promoting activities. Affiliated with Abong – the Association of Brazilian Non-governmental Organizations; GTP+ also makes up part of: the AIDS Network of Pernambuco, a forum that unites 34 civil society and networking organizations that work for the prevention of STDs/HIV/AIDS and to provide assistance for those afflicted; the Women’s Forum of Pernambuco; the Managing Board of Restauração Hospital; the Anti-HIV Vaccination Committee of the National STD/AIDS Department of the Ministry of Health; the State Managing Board (SPE – Health and Prevention in Schools); the National Community Anti-HIV Vaccine Committee; the Community Committee for HIV Research (CCAP-PE); the Municipal Council of Social Security (CMAS-Recife-PE); and the State Collegiate Coordination Committee for the Combat of Human Trafficking.
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