2 Dec 2013

National Workshop on “Developing A Roadmap for Scaling up Transgender And Hijra Interventions”

Department of AIDS Control (DAC)
The Department of AIDS Control (DAC), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is organizing a two- day national workshop on “Developing a roadmap for scaling up transgender and hijra interventions” on 5th and 6th December 2013, here. The inaugural will be chaired by the Secretary, DAC, Sh Lov Verma. 

Key highlight of this meeting include a high level panel discussion on 5th December 2013 on the issue of HIV, human rights and social inclusion faced by transgenders and hijras. 

The panellists include senior representatives from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Planning Commission, the UN and community representatives. 

Hon. Justice A K Sikri, Supreme Court of India will participate in the meeting. The panel chaired by Mr. Lov Verma, Secretary DAC will provide a set of specific policy recommendations on transgender related interventions, their HIV related and health needs, as well as social and legal recognition issues. Close to 150 senior administrators and key stakeholders from civil society, community, NGOs etc., across 33 states in India will participate in this first of its kind meeting in India. 

Transgenders and hijras have been disproportionately affected by HIV since the onset of the epidemic, according to several findings. As per the HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS) conducted by Department of AIDS Control, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 2011 prevalence in some areas has been as high as 18% in certain sites. In addition to this, there is social stigma associated with this community. 

Recognizing transgender population as a particularly vulnerable community, the Department of AIDS Control has set up interventions specific to their needs. However, this has been possible in 20 sites and the need to set up more such interventions for this unique community has been felt. 

The Department of AIDS Control has been working intensely on addressing issues of most at- risk populations like transgenders and hijras in India. The first national level 17 state mapping of high risk transgenders and hijras has been conducted by DAC in collaboration with UNDP and the National Institute of Epidemiology. At the national meeting, experiences will be leveraged from the Tamil Nadu transgender welfare board, status of legal identity options for transgender, effective HIV-prevention interventions with transgenders and hijras well as opinions and experiences of technical experts and community leaders from across the country.

 Based on the deliberations and discussions during this national workshop, a national scale-up plan for transgender specific targeted interventions is expected to be developed for the country which will reach out to the transgenders and hijras in the next five years with essential HIV prevention and care services. 

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