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Transgender & HIV - Transgender in Mumbai

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Transgender in Mumbai
HIV Status of the trans gender sex workers
HIV Status of the trans gender sex workers
• Humsafar study on male sex workers in Mumbai.
• 76 participants: 24 males 52 transgender.
• Of the 52 transgender patients.
Click to view large Image
Mumbai Map
• 40% were HIV+
STI prevalence in TG 30.7%
Shinde et al – Humsafar trust

Transgender and HIV
Low visibility, no access to health care facilities, lack of education or development, a low level of awareness of their rights and other social issues combined with a high risk lifestyle has made the community of trans – genders socially and economically a deprived lot and potentially at risk of HIV explosion.

Transgender and HIV in India
Despite a number of Hijras still performing their traditional ceremonies at births and marriages a large percentage have turned to sex work to make a living.

Performing unprotected sex (without a Condom) is where the risk of HIV transmission comes in.

HIV can be transmitted through oral sex, anal sex and vaginal sex when protection (Condom) is not used.

Through anal sex without protection (Condom) there is a 33% chance of HIV transmission.

Human Rights
    Transgender and HIV
  • “All human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights” – Article 1 UNUDHR
  • “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law” – Article 6 UNUDHR
  • “Every human being has the inherent right to life. The right should be protected by law, no one should be arbitrarily depressed in his/her life” – International Convention of Civil & Political Rights Article 6
  • “All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination to equal protection of the law.” – Article 7 UNUDHR
Hijras are not recognised by Indian Law therefore their human rights are constantly violated.

Transgender Rights
Transgenders are not things or objects, property or toys, we are human beings with hearts and feelings and with rights afforded which should be respected.

Proposed Bill of Rights – Hopes for the Future
  • The right to be treated as human beings just like other Individuals.
  • The right to be treated fairly with compassion & free from unjust treatment, cruelty, discrimination, & exploitation in all private & government institutions & other entities.
  • The right to be recognized as a marginalized group thus appropriate representation be afforded to us in all government instrumentalities & all other groups & organizations whether local or international.
  • The right to be given equal Opportunities in employment as Transgenders.
  • The right to participate in all socio–Economic, political & cultural activities, programs & services that directly concern and affect us.
  • The right to build a family and home without prejudices and biases.
  • The right to form and organize groups to freely redress our grievances against the government and other institutions without fear of being imprisoned or killed.
  • The right to adequate access to health care and support, appropriate information and attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health.
  • The right to bodily autonomy and to decide freely the matters concerning our health and reproduction that is free of discrimination, coercion, violence and deceit.
Asia Pacific Network of sex Workers

Join the Fight
Organisations working with Transgenders
  • Sahara empowering people facing difficult situations due to substance use and HIV/AIDS. Sahara runs projects for men, women, children and the transgender community. Sahara works in Delhi, Bombay, Pune, Hyderabad and Manipur and serves around 300,000 people each year.
  • Asia pacific Network of Sex Workers working to make sex work safe and promote the rights of the Transgender communities across Asia.
  • Humsafar Trust Serving the spectrum of MSM and TG community since 1994. The Humsafar Mission Statement is: “A holistic approach to the rights and health of sexual minorities and promoting rational attitudes to sexuality”. Working in Mumbai.
Check them out to see how you can help join the fight against discrimination.

Websites/Resources Bibliography
Jaffery, Zia: The Invisibles:A tale of Eunuchs of India. New York: Vintage 1996.
Nanda, Serena: Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth 1999.
Pradeep (2002) ’Interventions among Men Who have Sex with Men’ in Panda et al (eds), Living with the AIDS virus – the epidemic and the response in India New Delhi:Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd.
Schultz and Lavenda: Cultural Anthropology: A perspective on the Human Condition. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 2001.
Shapiro, J: Transsexualism: Reflections on the Persistence of Gender and the mutability of Sex in Robertson, J (Ed) same Sex Cultures and Sexuality: An Anthropoligical Reader. Blackwell Publishing 2005.
Shinde et al: Male sex workers in Mumbai (powerpoint presentation) available from accessed 8/9/2008.

Draft of Transgender rights taken from powerpoint Transgender “Claiming Our RIGHTS” June 19 – 20, 2007, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Photographic images and captions from
Research provided by Sahara
The Third Gender

For more information on HIV in India and Pune, and getting tested visit:




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