Author: Alegra Wolter and Jeremy Tan Fok Jun
A leadership training module to empower young LGBTIQ+ people within the context of HIV response and programming
Globally in 2019, two out of every seven new HIV infections happened among young people (15-24 years old), including young LGBTIQ+ individuals who faced increased vulnerability to discrimination and abuse. Without the involvement of young marginalised people, our ambitious target to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 would not be realised (UNAIDS, 2021b). Global analysis showed that transgender people are more likely to have HIV, with trans women 66 times and transgender men nearly seven times (Stutterheim et al., 2021). Trans people from a young age faced stigma, discrimination, and social rejection in their homes and communities for expressing their gender identity. Such discrimination, violence and criminalisation prevent transgender people from getting the HIV services they need to stay healthy (AIDS Data Hub, 2017).
The effectiveness of programmes and interventions targeting young trans people can only be ensured with full participation in the programme design, monitoring, and implementation. Because young people play a crucial role in mobilising social change, their leadership capacity should be sustained and elevated through meaningful engagement and participation. LGBTIQ+ youths, especially transgender youth, are often left out of this conversation (APTN, 2022b).
In partnership with APTN under the project funded by the Robert Carr Fund (RCF), “Transcending Borders: Strengthening trans and gender diverse movements towards transformative leadership, legal protection and trans-competent healthcare in Asia-Pacific and Africa”, Youth LEAD aims to develop the LGBTIQ+ Youth Leadership Training Module to equip young LGBTIQ+ people, especially trans youth, with the skills needed to take up leadership positions and participate in decision-making bodies within the context of HIV response and programming. The LGBTIQ+ Youth Leadership Training Module will cover the issues and needs of LGBTIQ youth in HIV response, specifically focusing on trans youth in the Asia-Pacific region. This module emphasises storytelling and the power of bringing people together toward the same cause.