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Isean 2013 stories of change from our communities in indonesia, malaysia and the philippines


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Isean 2013 stories of change from our communities in indonesia, malaysia and the philippines

Isean 2013 stories of change from our communities in indonesia, malaysia and the philippines

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  • 1. Stories of Change from Our Communities in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines in Responding to HIV, AIDS and Other Challenges
  • 2. © ISEAN, 2013 All rights reserved. Publications of the Islands of Southeast Asia Network on Male and Transgender Sexual Health are available on and can be obtained in ISEAN Secretariat Office in Jakarta, Indonesia. Request for permission to reproduce or translate ISEAN publications – whether for sale or for noncommercial distribution – should be addressed to ISEAN Secretariat. The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion what- soever on the part of the ISEAN concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement. All reasonable precautions have been taken by ISEAN to verify the information contained in this publication. However, the published material is being distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the material lies with the reader. In no event shall the ISEAN be liable for damages arising from its use.
  • 3. RAMPA Rampa is used as the title of this publication to refer to the personal and organizational stories shared by GMT (Gay, MSM & Transgender) communities in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines in responding to HIV and AIDS and other challenges. Rampa is a word from the gay lingo used in the Philippines. According to Jay Arian C Caparida, the President of Peer Ed ME - PAMAQC, Rampa means ‘to have a group of friends to go to different places together’ or in other words, hang-out with buddies. The term rampa also means to show off or sashay while walking. The term may have been derived from the English word ‘ramp’, a runway for fashion shows, hence the meaning.
  • 4. First Edition: July 2013
  • 5. i| vii Preface The concept of community involvement in improving health outcomes is based on the principle that if affected communities are actively involved in initiatives that affect their health, better health outcomes are often achieved. This is because of the observation that members of communities often protect and support their other members. Communities of patients and other “affected and vulnerable groups” are acknowledged universally as important partners towards maximizing the reach and impact of health systems. This is particularly true for HIV- AIDS, a disease that affects predominantly young MSMs and Transgenders in the South East Asian Region. Since MSM and TG communities are often hidden and difficult to reach because of the social stigma attached to homosexual behaviors or identity, it is essential to involve MSM and TG communities in national HIV-AIDS responses (GFATM Community Systems Strengthening, 2011). This clearly goes beyond providing services and usual interventions. Community-Based Organizations or CBOs, and their networks, have a unique role and ability to interact with those who are affected in their communities. They are a valuable resource as they can respond quickly to their own needs and engage better with the affected and vulnerable groups. Indeed, local CBOs provide the key link in HIV prevention and control. Without the communities being actively involved from prevention to treatment, national and even regional responses to HIV-AIDS could not be as effective. According to the Community Systems Strengthening document of the GFATM (2011), “To have a real impact on health outcomes, however, community organizations and their members must have effective and sustainable systems in place to support their activities and services. This includes a strong focus on capacity building of human and financial resources, with the aim of enabling community actors to play a full and effective role alongside the health, social welfare, legal and political systems.” One such initiative is the ISEAN-Hivos Program , a Global Fund Round 10 Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) HIV and AIDS project that works with local partners and MSM-TG communities in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor Leste. Under this 5-year
  • 6. ii| vii program, CBO Capacity building is provided through a series of trainings and organizational development activities. Beyond the numbers of people trained, the success of the project may be better reflected through the stories of the participants and the CBOs themselves. To facilitate the qualitative documentation of the changes that have occurred due to the capacity building interventions provided, the ISEAN-Hivos Team embarked on this task. In-country Workshops were conducted adopting the a variation of the “Most Significant Change Story Technique” or MSC. MSC is a method of participatory monitoring and evaluation developed by Dr. Rick Davies and colleagues more than 15 years ago. This approach is being used in many settings globally as a qualitative documentation strategy and a tool for monitoring and evaluation. Based on the written narratives shared by CBO members who attended writing workshops organized by the Program and in partners in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, this compilation of stories provides the point of view and experiences of the MSM and TG communities. Aside from documenting stories, this publication may also be used as a resource for further researches, advocacy and providing education on MSMs and TGs experiences in various contexts. The stories in this publication reflect how MSM and transgender communities in the three countries rise above the challenges and help themselves and their peers. It is hoped that their stories of struggle, challenge, encouragement and achievement provide a deeper understanding of the group and new perspectives to whoever reads it. CBOs are also hoped to be inspired by the narratives so that they too, continue documenting their experiences and share their stories with others. The Rampa Publication Team and Partners wish to thank everyone who participated in this multi-country initiative in documentation stories from community based organizations. Still, more stories remain unheard and need to be told. This will be the next challenge to all of us. Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. - Henry Ford
  • 7. iii| vii Foreword Communities are a critical stakeholder in any effort to tackle sexual health, human rights and other development issues. Yet communities are often denied self-determination and the opportunity to make its diverse voices heard. The ISEAN-Hivos Program (IHP), supported by the Global Fund 1 , with assistance from SatuDunia2 and the United Nations Development Programme Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (UNDP APRC)3 , is focused improving prevention, care, treatment and support for males who have sex with males (MSM) and transgender people, two groups most-affected by HIV in Indo- nesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor Leste. A guiding principle for IHP has been that sus- tained, positive outcomes in public health and human right will be maximized by strengthening the ability of community-based organizations (CBOs) and leaders to be able to stand and serve their beneficiaries. Following is a compilation of stories of significant change observed by community partic- ipants in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines over the two years since the beginning of IHP in October 2011, these stories are from members of CBOs who share how they feel and see the changes that have occurred in recent years. This compilation is a product of an IHP activity that facilitated CBOs to document their experiences using a methodology localized and adapted from the Most Significant Change (MSC) Technique4 developed by Dr. Rick Davies and Dr. Jes- sica Dart. This technique enables the documentation and storytelling process to be enhanced with skills-building in basic research and data collection. CBOs were assisted in their process by local journalists, consultants and graphic designers. RAMPA shows both the vulnerability and strength of individuals and communities of sex- ual and gender minorities most-at risk of HIV in the three countries. These narratives play a vi- tal role in promoting civic participation and peer support to tackle the many issues that MSM and transgender people face in each country, especially regarding access to health, protection from discrimination and stigma, and also violence. These issues have manifested differently across the three countries, however the impact at the community-level is strikingly similar.
  • 8. iv| vii RAMPA attempts to contrast the state of the community participation before and after the commencement of IHP. The stories from RAMPA tell us that CBOs and community leaders have a key role in ad- vocating for better health, protection from discrimination and equality before the law. This serves as compelling evidence of the need to maintain support for capacity-building of CBOs and community leaders so that they can scale-up their positive contributions to society. Our network is committed to continuing its work with community networks and strategic partners at the regional, national and local level to address the inequities that exist, while promoting health and social protection for those living with, and most-at-risk of HIV. Islands of Southeast Asia Network on Male and Transgender Sexual Health (ISEAN) June 2013 1 The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is the world largest donor of public health initiatives. 2 3 http://asia- 4 The ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique, A Guide to Its Use by Rick Davies and Jess Dart; April 2005; docs/MSCGuide.pdf
  • 9. v| vii Contents Preface i Foreword iii Contents v Indonesia at a Glance 2 Standing on The Thorns of Syaria by Violet Grey — Aceh 4 My Enemy, My Ally by Gaya Lentera Muda (GAYLAM) — Lampung 7 Fabulous Drag, Existance through Art and Culture by Gaya Lare Osing (Gaya Laros) — Banyuwangi 10 Gaya Laros by Gaya Lare Osing (Gaya Laros) — Banyuwangi 12 My Second Family by Himpunan Waria Batam (HIWABA) — Batam 14 Sweet Twinks Twenties by GWL-Muda — Jakarta 19 The Condom Ambassador by GWL Kawanua — Manado 22 From Brass to Gold by Srikandi Pasundan— Bandung 26
  • 10. vi| vii 28 Shelter of Hope by Keluarga Besar Waria Yogyakarta (KEBAYA) — Yogyakarta 30 VCT? Bring it on! by Gaya Patriot — Bekasi 33 The Power of Youth by Gaya Lentera Muda (GAYLAM) — Lampung 36 Independent Srikandi from Pasundan by Srikandi Pasundan — Bandung 40 The Philippines at a Glance 41 Rampa by Peer Educators Movement for Empowerment of Pasay, Manila, Caloocan and Quezon City (PAMACQ) — Metro Manila 45 VCT on Wheels by Cebu Plus Association, Inc — Cebu 50 Reaching Beyond Borders: Advocacies Extending to Davao Region’s Municipalities by Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association, Inc (MAAI) — Mindanao 53 STRAP on Its Way to Health: A Transgender Right by Society of Transsexual Women of The Philippines — Metro Manila 56 HIV Advocacy Turns Sexy: The Love Yourself Project Indulge by The Love Yourself, Inc — Metro Manila 60 Targeting 95% of Adherence in ARV Medication by Pinoy Plus Association, Inc; Metro Manila 64 The Wellness Lounge by Cebu Plus Association, Inc (Cebu) 67 Winning the Battle Against Discrimination by Transgender Coalition for the Liberation of the Reassigned Sex (COLORS), Inc — Cebu
  • 11. vii| vii Malaysia at a Glance 75 Camouflage by Singalang Charity Association (SCHA) — Sarawak 77 Legally TG by Pertubuhan Advokasi Masyarakat Terpinggir (PAMT) — Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor 81 Meet Emma… by Family Health Association — Kedah 85 The Future of Chinese MSM by KL Light — Kuala Lumpur 87 Me, Then and Now by Cahaya Harapan — Kedah 89 Mirror, Mirror – The Zai’s Story by Pertubuhan Advokasi Masyarakat Terpinggir (PAMT) — Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur , Selangor 91 My Journey Is Not Yet Over by Komited Malaysia — Pahang 94 It All Begins Here by Family Health Association — Kedah 98 ISEAN-Hivos Program Network, SR, CBOs INDONESIA 101 Network, SR CBOs The Philippines 107 Network, SR, CBOs Malaysia 117 About ISEAN, ISEAN-HIVOS 125 Regional Partners 127
  • 12. 2| 128 INDONESIA at a glance Indonesia, a country with a population of 237.5 million in 2010 has an estimated HIV prevalence of 0.27% among the 15-49 years age group1 . Indonesia’s HIV and AIDS epidemic is concentrated amongst key affected population resulting from a mix of two modes of transmission- sexual transmission and drug injecting. The cumulative number of reported HIV infections in Indonesia has risen sharply from 7,195 in 2006 to 76,879 by 20112 . According to the 2009 national estimates of HIV infection, about 186,257 people were infected with HIV and 6.4 million people were at risk 3 . In the past 2 years, the commitment of the Government of Indonesia to respond effectively to the epidemic and to reach national and international 1 PWID, sex workers (male, female and transgender), men who have sex with men, high risk men, and prisoners targets has also been reflected at the regional level. The occasion of the 19th ASEAN Summit in November 2011 was used to mobilize Heads of State/Government of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to declare their commitment towards “an ASEAN with Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero HIV Related Deaths” by 2015. Coverage of some categories of key affected populations is now approaching the national target. In 2011, the NAC (National AIDS Commission) recorded that over two thirds of direct Female Sex Workers (FSW) and transgender people had been reached by interventions as well as between one to two thirds of indirect FSW. One indicator also relates to behavior e.g. the percentage of people reporting condom use at last sex. The FSW, transgender and MSM groups have all met at least one of the national targets4 . The rising numbers of condoms distributed to key affected population suggests improvements in condom availability, acceptability, and use. On the other hand, less than one third of men who have sex with men (MSM) and high risk men have been reached5 . 1 MoH, Mathematic Model of HIV Epidemic in Indonesia 2008-2014 2 MoH, Year end Report on Situation of HIV and AIDS in Indonesia, 2006 and 2011 3 MoH, Estimation of at-risk Adult Population, 2009 4 MoH, IBBS, 2011 5 NAC, Program Monitoring, 2011 [Executive Summary of Republic Indonesia Country Report on The Follow Up To The Declaration of Commitment On HIV/AIDS by Indonesian National AIDS Commission, 2012]
  • 13. 3| 128 Urban Centered BCC Strategy Development Regional Consultation Jakarta, June 2012
  • 14. 4| 128 It’s a story about a land. A land with privilege for them … but not for us Violet Grey — Aceh I t was a Tuesday evening in April, the sun was slowly setting in Aceh. The time is now 4:00 PM. At VG — Violet Grey’s office, in Lamlagang, Banda Aceh, nine people were still engaged in a discussion even though the day is getting late. Cipi was at the “center” of the discussion. She is a “shemale”, a transgender person. She was beaten up and suffered from serious injuries and was unconscious. The case of Cipi is a bleak portrait of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community members in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Cipi was not the only transgender who experienced this kind of physical violence. Most transgender people in the area experienced various forms of violence as well. Many discussions around LGBTs are often held at VG, an LGBT organization in that province. In addition to Cipi’s case, the discussion also focused on what
  • 15. 5| 128 happened to Cut Sherly, a 28 years old TG, living in Banda Aceh. Cut Sherly is an entrepreneur. She owns and runs a beauty salon in the city of Banda Aceh. Besides running a business, she is also active as a coordinator of TG organization called Putroe Sejati Aceh (PSA). Cut Sherly is a living witness on how Aceh can be a “hell on earth” for LGBT groups. “Beaten, molested, expelled and permitted to be killed are common things we experience or hear about in our daily lives. It is as common as eating rice in our daily meals”, said her. It is still fresh in her mind when a group of people entered into her salon two months ago. They confronted her and accused her of doing immoral activities within her premises. Her feelings were a mixture of anger, sadness and fear. She had to go through all these in spite of the fact that she did nothing. The time then was 02.00 AM. She was sleeping alone in her salon. It is very common for members of PSA community to experience similar situations. There will always be reasons for others to threaten them. Often these are silly reasons, illogical and with no valid grounds. PSA was initiated by VG. Initially PSA was only intended to help TGs get better health access related to HIV and AIDS. But fighting solely for the rights to health was not enough, because violence and discrimination happen not only in health care settings but in all other aspect of their lives. Effective advocacy would need to include knowledge and support for civil rights – the right to be equal under the law. In spite of feeling hopeless due to the violence that she had experienced, Cut Sherly explained that through the training activities conducted by VG, she learned that everyone, including TGs like herself, have the right to be treated well, just like others. Today, Cut Sherly performs the role of an advocate for her TG colleagues. She also helps fight various cases involving TGs living with HIV. Considering the number of violent events towards LGBT in Aceh, after attending ISEAN-Hivos Training for Local CBO Staff on Institutional and Program Development and Strategic Planning, VG is planning to raise the “pluralism issue” in any workplan that involves TG and lesbians. “We take a strong consideration towards these two groups since they are prone to violence because of their gender expression that might be judged as a form of misconduct that is against Islamic syari’a,” said Edi Saputra, Director of VG. Approach to TGs organized through PSA and they are already having a strong network among themselves. On the other hand, lesbians are being approached Before attending these meetings, VGs staffs provide instant training on crucial things such as how to perform as a good leader and how to position myself within the forum” “
  • 16. 6| 128 individually by the group due to the absence of a visible lesbian community in Aceh. After the ISEAN-Hivos Training for Local CBO Staff on Community Leadership, Governance and Mobilization, VG formed a new community network for lesbians in Aceh under the management of VG. Atapku Aceh— which later changed its name into Learning Together (LeTo). As a newly formed community group, LeTo was managed by VG. In June 2012, Ezer El-Fauzan, coordinator of LeTo, who led the organization since the beginning, decided to resign and continue her study. The position was then replaced by Redsoul Eqqy, a member who is new in coordinating community activities. Eqqy admits that she learned a lot from VG especially in performing her new tasks. She was trained by VG to become a coordinator of LeTo. In many activities related to lesbians and women, VG always sends Eqqy to represent the organization. “Before attending these meetings, VG’s staff members provide instant training on needed skills such as how to perform as a good leader and how to position one’s self in a forum or a meeting”, she explained. VG also continuously conducts educational activities involving LeTo. Not only Eqqy, but everyone at LeTo is given equal opportunities. They are expected to someday be able to stand on their own, just like the other members of VG and PSA. Today, VG has become a “parent” for the LGBT community in Aceh. It helps protect community members and provides training and legal advice, including discussions on security measures and what are considered as unfriendly in Aceh for LGBT communities. PSA and LeTo wished that VG will remain to be a “home” for LGBT in Aceh, a home where every issue and problem faced by LGBT is discussed and resolved together.
  • 17. 7| 128 MY ENEMY, MY ALLY T he full moon brightens Bandar Lampung that night. The sky was clear and stars were clearly visible. In a corner of the city, at the Pasar Tengah area, commonly called “Pasteng”, Asri Wijaya, who is often called “Oca”, is preparing herself to go out. At 11 pm, this 23-year old transgender puts on her accessories, red shoes, and a tight short dress that ends above her knee. Red lipstick is smeared on her lips to match her shoes. By the end of 2010, it has been eight years for Oca being in sex work. She would often find customers easily at Pasteng. For her, the “Satuan Polisi Pamong Praja” (SATPOL PP) siren is an unwelcome sound. “If I was hanging around Pasteng in the past, I had to be ready to be arrested by SATPOL PP. I ran away… because if I get caught by them, they would order me to do unpleasant things such as getting “sometimes we have to perform oral sex in front of the officers… it breaks my heart”, she said. Gaya Lentera Muda (GAYLAM) — Lampung
  • 18. 8| 128 naked, kissing other transgenders, and sometimes we have to perform oral sex in front of the other officers… it breaks my heart”, she said. That was Oca’s bitter life experience which she had to go through to earn some money. The negative experiences are now in the past. Nowadays, it is all over and there is no more violent raids, according to Oca. She can peacefully continue her trade because SATPOL PP raids aren’t violent as it used to be. SATPOL PP are now able to appreciate transgender people as human being. The SATPOL PP’s policy towards transgenders has also changed. This makes Oca and her friends smile. Currently, SATPOL PP no longer conduct raids targeting transgenders who carry condoms. Now, they go after transgenders who don’t carry any condoms with them. SATPOL PP’s policy change has led to lesser violent behaviors towards the transgender community in the area. The current policy aims to support safer sexual behaviors- from risky sexual behaviors which they have become accustomed to, into “no-risk behaviors”. From not knowing into becoming aware of his or her HIV/AIDS status, especially among members of the “Gay, Waria dan Lelaki Sex Lelaki” (GWL) community. This policy change happened primarily due to the hard work of “GAYA LANTERA MUDA LAMPUNG” (GayLam), a GWL community organization that provides support and help to community members in Lampung. GayLam had no programs at the beginning. They just work with the National Aids Commission (KPA) Lampung province and not with other stakeholders. As time went by, GayLam has improved. Their membership has increased and so did their knowledge. Until finally, GayLam joined GWL-INA and developed more partnerships. From this point on, GayLam became more active. Hence, more opportunities were made available to them. GWL-INA provided the group access to trainings conducted with the help of the ISEAN-Hivos Program. GayLam was given an opportunity to receive new knowledge and skills, one of them is on Strategic Planning. This training changed the paradigm of GayLam personnel towards being more open minded. GayLam currently has a strategic plan and a work program for its activities. These include information dissemination, provision of information on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV-AIDS, outreach and assistance. They also provide referrals for STI service provision, Voluntary Counseling and Testing/HIV test counseling (VCT) referral and services, and working with organizations (national and international). These groups Gaylam distributes condom for TG community
  • 19. 9| 128 include the GWL-INA and other development groups in each district/city in the province of Lampung. They also implement the SMS Gateway Service Hotline Program, Case Management Services, Assistance Group Training (Peer Educator), Facebook Program (Gay Lampung) and Facebook group (Gay and other MSM in Lampung). Moreover, they conduct condom distribution and development of Information Education Communication Media, Sport entertainment and Edutainment, Capacity building, Fundraising, and organize events. Particularly in their advocacy program, GayLam collaborates with GWL-INA, KPA Lampung province and the district/city government. GayLam advocates for health-related initiatives, such as friendly transgender health services, VCT and ARV examination. In addition, the group provides advocacy to key organizations such as SATPOL PP to improve the welfare of affected communities. Advocacy and networking activities will not be maximized without the awareness of the community to practice low risk sexual behaviors. From the various activities that GayLam does, its impact can be felt by friends at community. Jenita, a transgender who likes to hang out at the Pasteng hotspot revealed that the presence of GayLam makes transgender people feel comfortable. Jenita said “Now I feel safe hanging out here because the SATPOL PP only accosts transgenders who do not carry condoms and I feel happy because I can now be more secure when “selling” because I would never do sex without a condom “No Sex, No Condom”. I am often engaged by GayLam in activities such as HIV and AIDS discussion meetings. With the presence of GayLam, our access to health care facilities is very easy. If I inform the Simpur clinic that I am from GayLam community, access for health service becomes more open for me”. Advocacy programs will be continued by GayLam. These are envisioned to encourage the community to fight for their needs, as well as combating stigma and discrimination. GayLam continues to make progress internally and externally to maintain good relations with all parties. The group will work towards developing more “high-flying wings” to be able to help more people in need of GayLam. Now, GayLam organization has more friends and supporters. GayLam now has human resources that can be relied on for “Lampung GWL Empowerment”. This way GWL Lampung will become more efficient and useful. Gaylam outreach workers and city council officer Acronym: SATPOL PP (Satuan Polisi Pamong Praja) — n Lampung City Council Police
  • 20. 10| 128 T he way gay and transgender communities are recognized in Banyuwangi district today is very different from the way things were ten years ago. ”This all began with the arts”, said Subari Sofyan (50 years old), a gay man who is also a cultural observer. Subari, a Gaya Laros member and one of the gay and transgender Banyuwangi community figures, sees that Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival (BEC) as an opportunity to improve the level of recognition of the local gay and transgender community. BEC is the highlight of the district’s rich traditions and art culture. Subari began to involve Gaya Lare Osing (Gaya Laros) and Ikatan Waria Banyuwangi (IWABA) members to participate in BEC performing arts or in other events as Arts Ambassadors representing the area. Gradually, the local government started to recognize the work of the members of Gaya Laros and IWABA. The groups were also able to gain some recognition at the national and “I always come to the show wherever it may be. I want to be involved in the arts. ” FABULOUS DRAG, EXISTENCE THROUGH ART AND CULTURE Gaya Lare Osing (Gaya Laros) — Banyuwangi
  • 21. 11| 128 international levels. Gaya Laros and IWABA are community-based organizations (CBOs) which aim to increase community understanding of sexual health for the gay, transgender, and male-sex-with-men (GWL) communities. The CBOs were established around 1996, with programs to conduct outreach and mentoring on HIV/AIDS for gay and transgender community members. They also provide discussions on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and conduct edutainment activities. Gaya Laros initially stands as a collective community. However, the increase of HIV and AIDS cases, an issue that affects the GWL in Banyuwangi encouraged the organization to be more active in this area. Based on Banyuwangi Health Office’s data, as of March 2012, the total number of patients with HIV/AIDS recorded were around 1,400. Included in this number are groups of gays and transgenders. Using art as an entry point, Subari showed his concern in relation to the HIV problem that affects the community. He also helped to fund activities on edutainment advocacy and participate in International AIDS Day commemoration activities. He also sponsored gay and transgender individuals who received invitations for shows locally and abroad. A very significant change for the Gaya Laros and IWABA community is the increase of the level of their economic empowerment and self-actualization. “I always come and attend the show wherever it is held… my self existence and my creativity are being developed through my involvement in the arts” said Dede, a 22-year-old gay person and a member of Gaya Laros. Additionally, Rendra Tirtana, also known as Ocha, a 25-year-old transgender became part of the Banyuwangi Tourisms Office’s artistic team. They help prepare and coordinate cultural shows for the district. Through art, gay and transgender community members became closer to the regional governments. In addition, part of their revenue from costume-making, are set aside to support social missions that prioritize gay and transgender individuals who are infected with HIV and AIDS in Banyuwangi. NGOs such as Gaya Laros and IWABA regularly participate in the annual dance festival. They often get a big round of applause from the audience because of their performance. Their appearance is not inferior to the other participants who are mostly women. They also often won dance festivals both at the district and the provincial levels. One such achievement is being the national champion of the dance festival in 2011 through their Gandrung Marsan dance performance. They are often invited as a featured performer in many other important events. Apart from the variety shows at local level, Gaya Laros gets more opportunities to perform in a variety of state activities. One of these is the Independence Day celebrations at the Presidential Palace, in which they have performed for two years in a row. “This is a reward for us because this shows that GWL groups can have a meaningful existence and contribute well to the benefit of other community members”, said Subari. *** This all began with the arts”, said Subari Sofyan. “
  • 22. 12| 128 F or Titin, the Blambangan hospital is like a second workplace. Titin, is a 33 year old transgender person who is also a make-up artist. She often visited this health care center. She also dedicatedly accompanied her friends to the clinic and assisted them to get medical services. “I have become close friends with the doctors and nurses here,” said Titin. If we look back at her condition before 1996, Titin’s close relationship with healthcare provider at that hospital was very much different, “Back in the old days, I could barely receive decent service from them. The doctor would refuse to even just give her a health check-up. They would often prescribe medications without a proper diagnosis. The truth was, I only wanted to know what has caused my illness,” she said. Another story was shared by Lalu, a gay guy who is also a friend of Titin’s. Lalu recalls that things nowadays have changed compared to the way things were in 1996. During that time, gay and TG community members didn't get much Prior to 1996, the gay and TG community didn't get any attention from the Department of Health and PHC. Gaya Laros and Banyuwangi Aids Commission advocate for gay and TG’s health services in Banyuwangi. GAYA LAROS Gaya Lare Osing (Gaya Laros) — Banyuwangi
  • 23. 13| 128 attention from the Department of Health and PHC. Gaya Laros and Banyuwangi Aids Commission advocated for gay and TG’s health services in the district of Banyuwangi. Titin and Lalu are both volunteers at Gaya Laros, an organization focusing on health issues, particularly on HIV and AIDS. There are several other Community Based Organizations in Banyuwangi, including IWABA (Ikatan Waria Banyuwangi). Gaya Laros and Iwaba are the two main organizations where gay and TG individuals in the locality are gathered under one umbrella. They are actively involved in many social activities, including HIV prevention in the Banyuwangi Regency. Every year, the number of PLHIVs living in Banyuwangi is increasing. According to data from the Department of Health of Banyuwangi, up to March 2012, the number of HIV and AIDS cases had reached 1,400, some of them are gays and TGs. To help further enhance their work on gay and TG community in areas such as networking, Gaya Laros became a member of GWL-INA, Indonesia’s national network of organizations working with MSM and TG communities. As a follow up to the strategic planning leadership and training conducted by GWL-INA and the ISEAN-HIVOS Program which they attended, Gaya Laros members also held a discussion on STI, HIV and AIDS among their members and other individuals By conducting such activity, they hope that members of their local gay and TG community could become more aware and educated on the topic. Being aware, they would know how to live a healthy life without HIV and STI infections which previously they would simply ignore They wished that such socialization activities won’t stop here. It is expected that the discussion will continue in other districts and remote areas to support the wider gay and TG community. As an outcome of the discussions, Gaya Laros agreed to facilitate a mobile VCT and provide STI tests. They also formed a group of peer educators (PEs) and volunteers in several regions in Banyuwangi. Gaya Laros hopes that in the future. there will be a healthy and dynamic social environment for LGBTs in Banyuwangi. ..., Gaya Laros agreed to facilitate mobile VCT, provide STI test and forming group of peer educator (PE) and volunteer in several regions in Banyuwangi.” “
  • 24. 14| 128 The expensive cost of medical treatment makes her desperate. “I’m better off dead rather than living like this” My Second Family Himpunan Waria Batam (HIWABA) — Batam Y osi has been living in the dark for three months. She is a 40 years old transgender, who has a negative view of the world. This started when she developed blindness due to a toxoplasmosis infection that affected her eyes. “It’s like being at the edge of death” according to Yosi. The expensive cost of medical treatment makes her desperate. “I’m better off dead rather than living like this”, she said. Yosi comes from Lampung, but she has been plying the trade as a sex worker in Jakarta since 1993. She also went to Batam in 1996, but her main goal was to work in Malaysia. Being stubborn and independent, she initially thought that the organization HIMPUNAN WARIA BATAM (HIWABA) was of no significance to her. Yosi described herself as a wanderer who lives by a “live alone, die alone” principle. By
  • 25. 15| 128 June, 2012, she suddenly fell ill. Yosi developed fever, diarrhea, as well as candidiasis in her mouth. She decided to get treatment, but nothing can seem to cure her at that time. Around August of that year, word spread among the transgender community that a certain transgender named Yosi has fallen very ill. After seeking her consent, the HIWABA management visited Yosi to talk to her and find out more about her illness. Yosi shared with them that she suffers from a bad stomach disorder. She already received treatments from everywhere but nothing seemed to work. Seeing how bad Yosi’s condition is, the HIWABA management gave her the contact number of a counselor. They also provided her the contact of HIWABA’s HIV case manager whom she can call in case she decides to have a medical check-up or tests for STIs and HIV. On her own initiative, Yosi contacted the HIWABA recommended counselor and the HIV case manager. She took an HIV antibody test, which came back with a reactive result. Yosi found out that she is HIV-positive with a CD4 count of only 16. This was way below normal values. Because of this, the doctor recommended Yosi to immediately start taking antiretroviral medications (ARV) to suppress the virus inside her body and help her get better . Two months after Yosi started taking ARV, she developed a toxoplasmosis co-infection which can cause blindness. This situation required the HIWABA case manager to bring Yosi to an ophthalmologist. The doctor only gave her two options for treatment. Either Yosi had to raise her CD4 level up to 250 in 1 month and if she cannot do it, then she should undergo an injectable eye treatment which was only available at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Jakarta. This treatment would be too expensive for Yosi. However, HIWABA knows that there is a possible funding from her social health insurance. This Jamkesos support isn’t easy to get. HIWABA had to advocate to the Department of Health (DoH) and Department of Social Welfare (DoSW), to be able to get support from JAMKESMAS (to cover the medical expense) and JAMKESDA (to cover the transport and accommodation) for Yosi’s treatment. HIWABA spent more than a month to coordinate and prepare everything. After being unnecessarily made to go back and forth or getting “ping-ponged” by the DoH and DoSW, HIWABA was finally able to get the needed approvals and support from JAMKESMAS and JAMKESDA. When the time to go to Jakarta came, one of the HIWABA staff, Angel Nasution, accompanied Yosi. After four months of treatment, Yosi was slowly able to improve her vision. She started to differentiate colors and regained more control of her life.. Assisting people in need like Yosi is one of the reasons why HIWABA was Hiwaba had to advocate Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Social Welfare (DoSW), in order to get support from JAMKESMAS (to cover the medical expense) and JAMKESDA (to cover the transport and accommodation) for Yosi’s treatment.” “
  • 26. 16| 128 established. There are several transgender persons other than Yosi who were also assisted by the organization to access good healthcare. HIWABA was formally established in 2005, through the initiative of Angel (Nikmattua Nasution), Bela (Deaxel Sibarani), Ida Rusdi (Rusdi Harahap), Ling Bareta (Ecok). It was approved by the Notary two years later. Based on the 2012 mapping results, there are 536 transgender persons in Batam. The 2012 estimation also indicated that there are around 140 transgenders who are living with HIV. As of March 2013, records indicate that there are 200 transgenders in Batam and 70 of them were projected to be living with HIV. From the above data, it can be concluded that the numbers of transgender persons living with HIV are increasing. Overall, HIV has infected nearly 35% of the local transgender population. There were many transgender people who went to Malaysia and Singapore for work. But after some time, they were either deported due to being infected by HIV or decided to come home on their own because of illness. This means that Interventions are needed to promote prevention of HIV among these at-risk populations. There is similar case which happened to a member of the transgender community in Batam. 20 years old Puspa, a transgender person from Java was referred to the Budi Kemuliaan Hospital with a positive HIV status. Puspa, who was very thin at 38 kg, had a CD4 count of only 195 and weight only 38 kg, felt hopeless, because she does not have the local identification card (like in the case of many transgenders in Indonesia), Puspa cannot receive free health care services and treatment from the government. “The medical cost is expensive, and this discourages me from going to the hospital and getting treated”, said Puspa. HIWABA first heard of the case of Puspa after finding out from the TG community that there was a young transgender who was very sick but nevertheless got evicted out of her living space because she was not able to pay her rent. HIWABA’s members arranged for her to be able to have temporary shelter. Aside from this, HIWABA brought Puspa to Budi Kemuliaan Hospital as soon as possible as her condition was getting worse. HIWABA acted as a guarantor so that Puspa can obtain the necessary health care. When HIWABA found out that Puspa doesn’t have a local ID card, HIWABA tried to ask for a domicile letter in order to get free health care from JAMKESMAS for Puspa. After trying for some time, the Seraya Atas Neighborhood Association was finally willing to give Puspa the letter. With the residency letter on hand, HIWABA advocated to DoSW for JAMKESMAS and follow up on Puspa’s discontinued treatment and care. Hearing news that there was a young transgender who is terribly ill and evicted from her place because she cannot afford the rent, HIWABA decided to move Puspa to one of HIWABA’s members residence in order to give her temporary protection and shelter.” “
  • 27. 17| 128 After three months, Puspa is finally healthy. Through HIWABA’s interventions, Puspa slowly regained her weight. Her CD4 count also increased to 270 which was a better figure than before. Aside from these, HIWABA helped find a job for Puspa at a local restaurant. She started to resume her normal activities and regained a more positive outlook in life. Yosi and Puspa are just two of the many transgender people whose lives have been touched by HIWABA and its members. A similar story than can be told is about two friends named Evi bule (39 years old) and Rachel (37 years old). Both of them are transgender persons from South Tapanuli, North Sumatera. Both suffered from a stroke which caused paralysis in half of their bodies. Both of them are also HIV- positive with very low CD4 counts. HIWABA first found out about Evi Bule and Rachel after they were suddenly sent home from Malaysia due to their illness. On the day of their arrival back in Indonesia, members of HIWABA picked them up at the Batam Center Port. Evi Bukle and Rachel were then brought to the house of one of HIWABA’s members where they temporarily stayed. HIWABA once again encountered a situation where a very ill TG patient did not have a local ID card. This made it hard for them to get free health care. Nevertheless, some of the HIWABA members gave donations so Evi Bule and Rachel could be taken to the hospital and get the treatments they needed. Because both of them were not HIWABA members, there were other members who initially objected to the idea of giving aid to non members. They thought that other transgenders who are not members were not supposed to be their burden. However, other members continued giving voluntary donations. This encouraged HIBAWA staff to immediately take Evi and Rachel to the hospital. Like in the case of Yosi and Puspa, HIWABA advocated to DoSW to getting the JAMKESMAS (government medical insurance) facilities for Evi and Rachel under the status of displaced patients, so they could undergo treatment and medication. Luckily, the process that HIWABA went through to get the needed documents for the two was faster than before, In less than one week, Evi bule and Rachel have received their JAMKESMAS documents. Within three months of treatment, they recovered fully and went back to their usual routines. Aside from providing advocacy services, HIWABA members are also actively building networks across Indonesia. HIWABA was involved in the Indonesian national network such as GWL-INA since 2009. Furthermore, since 2012, HIWABA began to participate in the capacity building activities organized by GWL-INA and ISEAN-HIVOS. “This involvement has great influence on HIWABA to have a more effective This involvement has great impact on HIWABA to have a more well- organized organization structure and more division are also formed”, said Ade Lodni, HIWABA Chairman. “
  • 28. 18| 128 organizational structure. More work divisions were also formed within the organization” , said Ade Lodni, the Chair of HIBAWA. HIWABA’s increasing work divisions were eventually able to reach out to more and more transgender members in Batam. Being better coordinated with an efficient organizational structure, more new members were enticed to join HIBAWA. Eventually, HIBAWA became an organization that has a strong and credible reputation. It has become is widely recognized in their area and acknowledged not only by the transgender communities but the local government, as well. Joining capacity building activities has improved HIWABA’s ability to advocate with partners and to empower transgenders in Batam. This also helps the TG community have a more accepted presence in their locales. HIWABA strives to focus on the advocacy services. In places where there are a lot of transgenders who cannot access medical care. HIWABA works towards promoting access to such healthcare services. After attending advocacy and networking trainings, HIWABA is getting stronger in coordinating with other agencies such as DoH, DoSW, Local AIDS Commission, and YGB especially in activities related to prevent HIV/AIDS. HIWABA continued developing its work programs, one of which is the health program. Other areas developed was in the terms of advocacy and collaboration which is manifested in an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Forum LSM Peduli HIV dan AIDS (with HIWABA as one of the members) and the City Health Department for HIV and STI’s check up. As for the CST, HIWABA made a deal with the State Social Service to be able to provide hospital services to displaced patients. Those MoUs and special agreements have been communicated to HIWABA members, so they can themselves feel comfortable in accessing health services, if needed. HIWABA also conducted informal discussions with health workers at the Community Health Center related to transgender concerns, including how to better provide health care services to this group. The group also held joint activities with the DoH in cooperation with YGB for their outreach and mentoring programs. VCT and CST programs were also implemented in cooperation with Budi Kemuliaan Hospital, while STIs and VCT programs were done in cooperation with DoSW through Lubuk Baja primary healthcare service provider. For condom purchase subsidies, HIWABA cooperates with the Local AIDS Commission in Batam. ”The Department of Social Welfare is already cooperating with Jamsostek while the Department of Health cooperates with JAMKESDA”, said Angel. In the future, HIWABA expects more transgender persons in Batam to join the organization so their voices as individuals and as a group can be better heard, They also aim to improve their group solidarity and be more organized in their activities. HIWABA also expects significant support and cooperation with partner agencies to ensure that transgender’s health rights are protected and their health further improved.
  • 29. 19| 128 SWEET TWINKS TWENTIES GWLmuda — Jakarta It’s easier for me to find friends via “manjam” in Jakarta D on’t always assume the negative impact of using internet-based media. Indeed, Internet becomes a challenge for mobilizing young people in Indonesia. In 2011, the number of Internet users in Indonesia is dominated by 64 % young people aged 15-19 years old. Then how is the situation for GWL youth group in Indonesia? I was discussing it with a gay friend through social networking named Ridwan. I asked, “What impact do you feel the most with Internet technology?, especially associated with Gays”. He answered, “ The most dominant impact is, it’s easier to get information, all kind of information. It’s easier for us to find sexual partners. This is the impact for people like us”. Ridwan, a 21-year-old gay, comes from Bontang and currently lives in Jakarta for college. Ridwan said, although Internet technology has also been widely used in Bontang, it’s still easier to get a sexual partner in Jakarta using this kind of
  • 30. 20| 128 technology. ”It’s easier for me to find friends via “manjam” in Jakarta rather in Bontang, because there is a lot more people who use “manjam” in Jakarta”, said Ridwan. On the other hand, it is something to be worried about after seeing the HIV case data in the youth GWL population. HIV prevalence among gay youth group aged 20-24 years is about 5%, 14% in the group of transgender adolescents, 22% for gonorrhea prevalence in adolescent group, and 34 % in the transgender youth group with same ages. Outreach workers had reached only 35% of these gay adolescent groups. These numbers represents the lowest percentage when compared with other adolescent groups population with same age.1 These challenges made GWLmuda to start an initiative to create an information infrastructure that is intended for adolescents in Indonesia, mainly large cities using internet-based media technology. This kind of infrastructure is intended to provide comprehensive information for GWL adolescent related with being healthy behavior and body development. In early 2012, the infrastructure was made and named Brondongmanis: a website infrastructure that integrates with popular social media. It uses fun approach and friendly contents for GWL adolescent to waive its scary disease-based approach and makes them reluctant to read it. Not long after the infrastructure was made, GWLmuda had an opportunity to attend a workshop and consultation in developing Urban Centered BCC Regional Strategy for GWL in the South East Asia nations organized by ISEAN-Hivos Program in June 2012. The meeting output produced a strategic framework document for GWLmuda input on strengthening the ICT communication infrastructure, especially in developing effective content and messages for GWL adolescent group in Indonesia. In the past year, over 12,000 unique visitors have visited Brondongmanis2 and were followed by more than 3,000 subscribers3 every day through social media. Brondongmanis become one of the favorite media and website recommended by online gay community4 in 2012. I interviewed a Brondongmanis loyal visitor to find out his reason to access it. “Finally there is a website with “bahasa” language for gays that contains not merely nude photos but also informative content which is needed”, said Zeffa, a Brondongmanis loyal visitor who always follow its development through social media. Zeffa, usually called Zeff is a 21-year-old teenager who is very active commenting and providing input for Brondongmanis infrastructure strengthening. 1 UNICEF Secondary Analysis Disaggregated Data for Most at Risk young people – 2009 2 Google Analytic 3 Facebook pages and Twitter analytic 4 @GayIndonesia is the biggest social media for gay community in Indonesia
  • 31. 21| 128 Unlike Zeff, Radhit, another young MSM, feels that the existence of Brondongmanis is helpful because he could get friendly recommendations regarding health. ”At that time, I read a reference about Procare clinic written on the Brondongmanis website. The reference really fits with what I was looking for, so I went there”, said Radhit via telephone interview. I even had the opportunity having a discussion with Touchemagz owner, a media partner of Brondongmanis. He expressed his happiness because there is now an alternative media for LGBT, especially young gay persons that is not focused on pornographic content. On that occasion I also asked the reason why he wants to be a Brondongmanis partner. His answer really gave a very critical point, “Ultimately, we want to see a change, not only being the most accessible website. It is important to have a collaboration with partners who has the same goal”, he replied. Both Zeffa and Radhit have the same expectations to popularize Brondongmanis, and involve more youth participation in its development strategy. Zeffa who often provides critical input for Brondongmanis, provides inputs on how important their participation would be by giving a sense of ownership for the community
  • 32. 22| 128 “Through this activity GWL Kawanua provides empowerment and considerable benefits for the crowned queen, prince and finalists of the PPR Beauty Pageant” The Condom Ambassador GWL Kawanua — Manado T iara Vanessa Quiin, is a transgender person with Bachelor’s degree in Engineering who was crowned as the Queen of GWL Kawanua 2010. Tiara is well known among the members of GWL Kawanua community in North Sulawesi. Her achievements have inspired her other TG friends. But of course, having getting those achievements was not easy. “It needs hard work and loyalty to the organization,” said Cris Roy, Chairman of GWL Kawanua The selection of Tiara as the Queen of GWL Kawanua was due to her artistic talent in dancing as well as her very good public speaking skills. With those talents, Tiara always felt confident. She recalled that it was in mid-2010 when she received information about the King and Queen of GWL Kawanua Pageant (PPR). With no hesitation, Tiara registered for the contest. GWL Kawanua is the organizing committee of the PPR. It was founded in 16th November 2009. It’s inauguration was a big event, attended by community representatives from several cities in
  • 33. 23| 128 North Sulawesi. Representatives from GWL-INA, the national network of MSM and TG organizations in Indonesia were also present. The GWL Kawanua’s elected board members include among others. Cris Lengkong Roy (Chairman), Feybi (vice chairman), Samuel Rompas (Secretary) and Indra (Treasurer). "A year after being formed, GWL Kawanua held the PPR in 2010 for the first time," said Cris The PPR pageant garnered a lot of positive responses from others, including friends from the gay, transgender and MSM community. Each year, the PPR has continuously improved in terms of the quantity and quality of its participants, materials for selection, and many other aspects. On its 3rd year (2012), the PPR event had a total of 54 participants. 16 finalists were selected for the drag (Queen) category and 8 finalists for the gay/MSM (Prince) category. This was an improvement since in its previous year, only 27 people registered as pageant candidates. The GWL Kawanua PPR includes activities other than the main pageant event itself. As Tiara shared, the events were held across three days wherein they were “quarantined” at a local hotel. On the first day, there was a training on important topics such as HIV, AIDS, STI, Condoms, health services and addressing stigma, discrimination among the GWL community. The training was held by representatives from the North Sulawesi AIDS Commission. Subsequently, the training was followed by sessions on improving general knowledge as well as beauty-related topics as many members are in the beauty profession and working in saloons. All materials and resources were supported by the sponsors. On Day 2, a talent show was held at the Manado Trade Center. There was an overwhelming positive response from the people of North Sulawesi who attended. They enjoyed witnessing the talent presentation of the PPR candidates. To help in the overall judging process, the talent event was followed by an interview to know more about the candidates’ knowledge on important topics . Day 3 was the highlight of the PPR Beauty Pageant . The main event was opened by no less than the Governor of North Sulawesi, Sinyo Harry Sarundayang. This is a matter of pride for the local GWL community because his presence sent the message that GWL communities and their contributions are also acknowledged by the government of North Sulawesi. Approximately 400 people from the GWL community and invited guests were in attendance to witness the final pageant of the PPR. The competition on stage was very stiff. The judges had a hard time in determining the winners. After a long process, Ms. Tiara Vanessa Quiin was crowned as Queen of GWL Kawanua. Mr. Davin Laluyan was also crowned as the Prince of GWL Kawanua. A year after being formed, GWL Kawanua held PPR in 2010 for the first time,” said Chris. “
  • 34. 24| 128 According to Tiara and Davin, fulfilling their role as reigning Queen and Prince of GWL Kawanua respectively was not easy. This is because they were, by default, also given another title and responsibility as the HIV-AIDS ambassadors of North Sulawesi. They were expected to deliver correct information about HIV, AIDS, STIs, condoms and health services to others in the community. "This role was a challenge for me," said Tiara. Through this PPR activity, GWL Kawanua provides empowerment and considerable benefits for the crowned Queen, Prince and finalists of PPR. The form of empowerment given is the opportunity to attend the Peer Educators’ Training for HIV and AIDS, Field Officers’ Training and a variety of other trainings both at provincial and national levels. These trainings were not only in the area of HIV and AIDS, but also in other areas such as psychosocial training on the concept of self-knowledge. “After participating in this training, communities are more open and confident about their sexual orientation, sexuality and gender identity. In addition, they also became more aware of existing laws, especially those related to Human Rights" said Cris. As the Prince and Queen, Tiara and Davin served for one year to provide counseling on HIV and AIDS to others, as well as representing GWL Kawanua in events. Education is indeed, the main activity of this organization. In addition to the gay, transgender and MSM communities, GWL Kawanua also provides counseling to the general public. "We conduct outreach activities every day," said Tiara, who also served as a coordinator for Peer Educators. Meetings with government agencies such as Social Department and Health Department, and even with the Department of Tourism were also undertaken by GWL Kawanua for advocacy purposes. GWL Kawanua held advocacy meetings to facilitate further collaboration between the community and government agencies. Cris said that, in addition to establishing relationships with government agencies, GWL Kawanua also conducts regular advocacy and outreach within the community. The organization’s goal is to increase awareness and understanding of HIV, AIDS, STIs, condom use, and positive behavioral changes. By far, their advocacy within the community has been successful. Evidently, the increase in awareness among MSMs and TGs to check their own health through Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) indicates that they have developed a heightened level of knowledge on
  • 35. 25| 128 infection control and prevention of HIV and STIs. "As such, those who are at risk will be able to protect themselves and their partners," he said. As they shared earlier. Davin and Tiara carried a huge responsibility as the crowned Prince and Queen for that year. “GWL Kawanua will act decisively in case the Prince and the Queen did not perform tasks that have been set by the board for the duration of their assignment. If they do not carry out their responsibilities as directed, the board has the right to revoke their titles”, they commented. This shows that the PPR is more than just a beauty contest. There is an important social mission that must be carried out by the selected ambassadors/winners. This is one reason why the PPR is well recognized by community, local government and in general, by the people of North Sulawesi. "The success of crowning the Prince and Queen of GWL Kawanua has been widely recognized in North Sulawesi," said Rhey, the Committee Chairman of PPR in 2012. In addition to the selection of the Prince and the Queen, a number of other programs are also being implemented by GWL Kawanua. For example, GWL Kawanua partners and networks with the AIDS Commission (KPA) in three districts, namely Manado, Bitung and Tomohon in North Sulawesi for HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support. GWL Kawanua is also actively involved in the activities undertaken by GWL-INA since 2009. Through this national network of Gay, MSM and Transgenders, GWL Kawanua finally started to take part in various activities organized by the ISEAN-HIVOS Program. ISEAN-HIVOS organizes various training programs to improve the capacity and quality of community-based organizations particularly the gay community, transgenders and other MSMs. “The first capacity building training attended by GWL Kawanua is CBO mobilization training, where we truly felt a positive impact on the development and organizational structure of GWL Kawanua”, said Tiara.. Tiara, as the Queen of GWL Kawanua, actively participated in the training. According to her, the training is not only beneficial to the organization, but also for her personally. After attending a series of training and courses held by ISEAN - HIVOS and GWLmuda in 2012 Tiara initiated the establishment of GWLmuda Kawanua. This is a group focused on young MSMs and transgender people in North Sulawesi. This idea was well received by the Board of GWL Kawanua GWL and communities in North Sulawesi. GWLmuda Kawanua is expected to be a forum for responsible, dedicated and knowledgeable young transgenders and gays who would be the “next-in- line” or successors to GWL Kawanua, and carry out the tradition of “beauty with a purpose”.
  • 36. 26| 128 “ Be like metals…we are like brass turned into gold”, said Sasha Rhamdani, a healthcare advocate in Kuningan Regency. The speaker is a 30 year old transgender person who knows a lot about HIV and AIDS. She can explain many HIV-related topics from the challenge of the epidemic to the response of various groups. Sasha, as everyone who knows her calls her , is a not certified health care worker like doctor. She is, in fact, a TG activist. Everyday she goes to different places to provide information about HIV and other health issues. “At first I know nothing, but after attending several trainings, I had become aware and well informed about HIV and AIDS, I can now share the knowledge to my TG friends, as well”, said Sasha. “Be like metals...we are like brass turned into gold” From Brass to Gold Srikandi Pasundan — Bandung
  • 37. 27| 128 Sasha is just one out of the many TGs trained by Srikandi Pasundan (SP). SP has provided trainings to many TGs in West Java. Through their capacity building program, individuals participate in activities to help them develop a deeper social concern for the community. In addition, they are also equipped with various knowledge and skills, one of which is on HIV and AIDS. SP has carried out its activities since 2005 and has since gained support from various groups and individuals parties. One of the factors that supported the achievements of the organization is the leadership trainings conducted by the ISEAN-HIVOS Program through GWL-INA. This activity has led to the better provision of trainings for more and more local TG groups and individuals. The biggest challenge faced by the organization is how to further develop in each individual a strong sense of social responsibility towards the community. But these challenges can be addressed gradually. “The concerns and issues among the TGs are increasing”, said Riri Wirayadi, Chairman of Srikandi Pasundan Apart from Sasha, there are several other TGs who are actively contributing to the community in their own locales. For example, Farah, a 34 years old TG, served as an extension agent in Bandung. The same is true for Bugi Lesmana (42 years old) who was also an extension agent (volunteer) in Cimahi and Odah Saodah (44 years old) who held a similar post in West Bandung. They, as well as many others, are examples of individuals who were trained by Srikandi Pasundan. They are now utilizing in various ways, the knowledge that they have acquired, to benefit their communities. For most TG community members, the usefulness of the trainings they attended is reflected in their own increased level of self-confidence. “SP has helped me a lot. Now I am more independent and confident,” said Farah, one of its members. The increase of knowledge and the self-confidence to talk in front of the public are perceived by them to be particularly important benefits. “At first I was not confident talk in public. Today, it’s a piece of cake,” said Odah. The overall positive impact is not only felt by the TGs alone. This is also felt by the organizations and agencies that work with SP. “SP is very helpful in reinforcing insightful knowledge and promoting the commitment of TGs in running programs particularly in Indramayu”, said Kristiyanti, Program Manager of National AIDS Commission of Indramayu district. A similar sentiment was expressed also by Asep Susan Sonjaya, Program Manager of AIDS Commission in Kuningan. He explained that the presence of the SP outreach workers is very helpful. They make his work in mobilizing the community and carrying out activities much easier. This activities of SP are expected to continue for years to come. The organization aims to develop more advocates who are compassionate, independent and beautifully confident.
  • 38. 28| 128 O ky seems happier now days. Loads of activities such as accompanying transgenders to the clinic, helping to get medicines at the hospital, and checking transgender health conditions keeps her busy everyday. “It has been one year for me being busy helping my friends”, said the 35 years old transgender. Oky’s condition is very different three years ago. In early 2011, this transgender person from Medan health was in a very bad shape. She was weak and unable to walk. Accompanied by a friend, she went to the KEBAYA secretariat, a transgender organization at Gowongan Lor Region, Yogyakarta. Oky’s tragic story is just one example from the many transgender immigrants who access health care services through KEBAYA. They contacted KEBAYA because “I was treated at the shelter when I got the information on how to independently access the healthcare services, and I spread this information to other friends.” SHELTER OF HOPE Keluarga Besar Waria Yogyakarta (KEBAYA) — Yogyakarta
  • 39. 29| 128 this organization has been working with the Executive Agency for Social Health Insurance (BAPEL JAMKESOS) since 2007. The cooperation was achieved by KEBAYA’s efforts to provide local transgender people some convenience. This is in accordance with the organization’s vision, which is to promote the health and empowerment of Yogyakarta’s transgender people. Its mission is to promote improved perspectives, mindsets, and behaviors through organizing advocacy, empowerment and health services with a gender and human rights perspective that is friendly towards transgenders. Before, Yogyakarta’s transgender persons would often experience difficulties with the hospital administration. This negatively affects their health care access. Therefore, KEBAYA initiated a cooperation agreement with BAPEL JAMKESOS, Sardjito Hospital and Yogyakarta Social Service to address the concern. Almost all of Yogyakarta transgender persons access health care using the BAPEL JAMKESOS social health insurance. KEBAYA often helps immigrants like Oky to access transgender-friendly services. Because of KEBAYA, they are able to use the transgender group health insurance in hospital. After that, they can get further treatment at the KEBAYA shelter when needed. Since 2007, 180 transgender persons in Yogyakarta accessed health care using BAPEL JAMKESOS. Of these, 78 received full hospitalization services, and the rest availed outpatient benefit. Among those hospitalized, 12 eventually passed away because they only received information and interventions when they are already at their Stage Four of HIV infection and had very low CD4 counts. A total of 66 trans genders were treated at the KEBAYA home shelter while 36 received treatment at their own place of residents. Based on the records, shelters were needed since transgender people who are affected by the disease may need further treatment to recover after checking out from the hospital. Therefore, KEBAYA attempts to establish more shelters. With support from ISEAN-HIVOS Program, through GWL-INA, members of KEBAYA have participated in trainings on Strategic Planning, Leadership, ICT & conducting Online Surveys. They also acquired knowledge about UNGASS and how to conduct Community Consultations and Mobilization. The members of KEBAYA still continue their mission towards providing services and support for transgenders. “ I was treated at the KEBAYA’s shelter where I got information to independently access health care, and I spread this information to other friends”, said Oky.
  • 40. 30| 128 F or Andre and most of his fellow gays, getting an HIV test is a frightening experience. Being concerned that they will receive a sero-positive result makes them reluctant to have themselves tested even though an HIV-antibody test is very important for preventive measures and early treatment. "At first I was afraid. Nevertheless, I dared to take the test. After I found out my results, there are many changes in my life that I will pursue, especially in maintaining a better lifestyle and using a condom every time", said Andre. In the waiting room of Rawa Tembaga health center, Bekasi, Andre felt his heart is pounding hard. It was not due to cardiac pain. He’s waiting for the results of his first HIV test. This 30 years old gay man was incredibly worried because he realized that he often did not wear a condom when having sexual intercourse. An hour passed, he received the test result. "NON REACTIVE" ... Andre was relieved. Gaya Patriot — Bekasi
  • 41. 31| 128 The HIV and STI testing that Andre went through was through a mobile voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) initiated by Gaya Patriot (GP) Bekasi. The program aims to address existing problems in the Gay, TG and MSM community since generally, many community members have difficulty in accessing health services. This activity has been carried out since 2011 and is being conducted four times a year. The main issue for the MSM and TG community in Bekasi is the poor access to services. Even though actually in this city, four service providers are available. There are available services at the Community Health Center (PKM) for STI screening and 17 PKMs provide VCT services. GP helps fellow gay, TG and MSM by providing information on the specific location of the service providers that they can access. GP is a community-based organization for gays and transgender persons which was legitimated by Notary Deed No. 36. GP was initially only engaged in the field of HIV and AIDS in Bekasi but the activities of this organization have now extended as well to the larger issues of Human Rights (HAM), Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights (SRHR) and the capacity building for their staffs and community members. In terms of the need for health services, GP is also working with the National AIDS Commission (KPA) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) both within and outside Bekasi. It has formed allies and became a member of GWL-INA, the network of MSM and TG CBOs in Indonesia. From the network, GP received many benefits including several trainings on organizational development and related topics. In addition, GP is also endorsed by the AIDS Commission (KPA) and Health Office (PHO) Bekasi. In networking with health office and National AIDS Commission, GP felt the need to further improve its advocacy and networking skills. This was fulfilled after GP became a member of GWL-INA. GP representatives attended the CBO Training for Local Staff on Institutional and Program Development and Strategic Planning which was supported by ISEAN Hivos Global Fund Round 10. In this training, GP learned the ways of improving their organization, formulation of their organization’s vision and mission, developing a strategic plan and conducting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat) as part of an overall organizational strategic planning initiative. Through this training, GP developed its own 3-year strategic plan. This plan includes activities related to coming up with Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with service providers in Bekasi for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) testing, voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). The organizational goals include The service was superb! No more bitching towards TG persons accessing services”, Ira Irawati (TG, 27 years old). “
  • 42. 32| 128 becoming an entry point towards accessing arrangements for services . This was implemented as GP’s agreement for mobile VCT and STI testing for fellow GWLs. The organization runs mobile VCT and STI testing at night. It also suggested improvements towards achieving more friendly health services. The MoU made by GP with PHC Rawa Tembaga, PHC Bantar Gebang and Mitra Sehati clinics aim to provide better and more accessible STI services through mobile VCT clinics for the GWL community. Various positive opinions related to the services were shared by fellow GWLs. These activities also encourage a change towards safer sexual behaviors such as in choosing a partner, and also during sex. They also began to feel more comfortable when accessing the service because the services are GWL friendly. “I today feel more comfortable being in the clinic”, said M. S Ginanjar (Gay, 19 years old) “I just did VCT for the first time, but I experienced comfortable services. They were friendly”, said Hamz (Gay, 23 years old). “The service was superb! No more bitching towards TG persons accessing services”, Ira Irawati (TG, 27 years old)” Positive feedback was also given by the PHC officer towards GWL community. They feel that the GWL community members are extraordinary. “Fellow GWL are smart, and more open in disclosing their personal issues”, said dr. Dedes (Medical Person in Charge at STI & VCT clinic in Rawa Tembaga). Dr. Dedes also added that one significant change resulting from this activity was the increase in the number of other GWLs visiting clinics and receiving tests and treatments. Previously, at most, only 20 people per week came. But with the VCT mobile initiated since April 2013, the number was increased to 47. This information has been disseminated widely by GP to the GWL community in Bekasi through social media network such as Facebook, BBM and local site cruising area. For PHC, the increase in the number of clients encouraged them to provide better services to improve VCT and STI services furthermore. “This is due to the increasing number of HIV cases that needs attention”, said dr. Ellis Z.D.,chief of Rawa Tembaga PHC. I just did VCT for the first time, but I experience comfortable services. They were friendly”, said Hamz (Gay, 23 years old). “
  • 43. 33| 128 W e often hear of many sad stories from young friends in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community. One of those stories is the story of Marlina, a 20 year old lesbian teenager, Marlina, called Indra by her friends, had to leave her family, after they found out that she was lesbian. Indra is young person who was born as a woman but acts like a “tomboy”. She would be often be involved in brawls, consumed alcohol, and would steal money or valuables even from her own family. This has led to her staying away from her family and live a life of an “unstable adolescent”. Also, she does not yet fully understand the concept of gender identity. She would often change sex partners, many of whom do not really understand her being a lesbian. One day, Marlina met a new gay friend “I’m very proud and lucky to be involved …” THE POWER OF YOUTH Gaya Lentera Muda (GAYLAM) — Lampung
  • 44. 34| 128 named Jefri Aditya who is a member of GayLam community. Jefri also suffered the same fate as her as he has also been outcasted by his family. Indra and Jefri are adolescents who are going through a transition period in there lives. They are experiencing changes in all aspects, among them physically and psychologically. Many of the local LGBT Youth (with ages from 15-24 years) encounter stigma and discrimination because of their having a different gender identity and sexual orientation. Due to the negative reaction of their own families and their communities, many of them live troubled lives as teenagers and have very limited achievements. They also often drop out from school in order to avoid stigma and discrimination from people who refuse to tolerate their being different. Lampung GayLam works with young lesbians, MSMs and other community members. Their involvement with GayLam helps make the local LGBT youth stronger as a community. Gaylam tried to form cadres of youth groups who participate in programs especially targeting younger populations in their locales. To achieve behavior change and healthier lifestyles, Lampung GayLam conducts capacity building activities for the LGBT Youth. These activities help to equip them with skills to become peer educators who will reach out to other young LGBTs, especially in issues related to HIV/AIDS, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) and LGBT rights. GatyLam’s initatives which Involve GWL teens and adolescents, are expected to enable them to play an important role on these issues. One of these initiatives is a forum called the Lampung LGBT Youth Forum whicj was designed especially for adolescents and young adults This forum aims to empower young LGBTs towards reducing the transmission rate of HIV/AIDS among adolescents. The forum also provides participants with knowledge and better understanding about sexual orientation, gender identities, LGBT rights and other adolescent issues. They also work towards reducing stigma and discrimination against LGBTs in their communities. GayLam is very open to all LGBT community members. Their activities include capacity building on basic HIV/AIDS prevention, including the correct use of condoms. Gender and Sexuality and Human Rights are also discussed. Young LGBTs are involved in training and meetings such as the national level training for young GWL, ToT Peer Educator, Leadership Training and mobilization of young GWL held by GWL-INA and the ISEAN-Hivos Program. “These events were very useful and have a positive impact on the lives of young GWL in Lampung. The hope is for them to become GWL adolescents who can positively contribute to their communities”, according to Indra and Ari. “I’m very proud and feel lucky to be involved in activities held by GayLam. There is a lot of knowledge and perception that I get from the organization that’s why I decided to become one of the staff at GayLam”, said Indra. …, there is a lot of knowledge and perception that I get from the organization and I decided to become one of the staff at GayLam”, said Indra. “
  • 45. 35| 128 GayLam aims to establish more GayLam partners and help coordinate activities for the lesbian community through a group called Gendhis in Lampung province. “Having Gendhis as a lesbian community makes me feel that I do not live alone as a lesbian. Because of this, I was able to encourage myself to talk to my family that being a lesbian is not a disease. And that lesbians are not “scum” and that I am also entitled to have an equal position in the society the same as others”, said Indra. She added, “ In fact, I am involved in the Bandar Lampung AIDS Commission in coordinating a Mobile Condom Outlet. Also, I was often involved in many national meetings such as National Youth Forum and activities held by Ardhanary”, said Indra. In addition to their activities, GayLam Lampung already has a leadership pool. According to Jefri “Before I joined GayLam, I was just like any other ordinary young person. But when I started actively involved in the organization’s activities and programs, I saw a significant improvement in myself as well as in others. This is specially in relation to SOGI, LGBT Youth Rights, HIV and AIDS and other concerns. Because of my having more roles and responsibilities, my commitment to the LGBT community became stronger. I am a living proof that there is space for teens to be able to lead the community on certain issues”, said Jefri. The LGBT Youth have had significant participation in all organization activities and programs implemented by GayLam. Moreover, the youth members and volunteers actively get involved in the implementation of programs. They also contribute significantly in terms of planning, organizational operations, as well as in monitoring and evaluation. One proof is the official formation of cadres as part of the leadership process for the organization to reach out to the other potential LGBT Youth groups. The expectation is that with a meaningful involvement of LGBT Youth, stigma and discrimination would finally be minimized if not eradicated at all levels. The proof is in me, and it is related to the availability of space for teens to be able to lead the community”, said Jefri. “
  • 46. 36| 128 I t has been one year since a house on Abdul Halim 46 road, Cimahi, became Srikandi Perintis’ secretariat. Srikandi Perintis is the transgender organization in the city. In many occasions, five of the organization’s administrators seemed to drown with tasks related to their group’s activities. From writing to typing on the computer, and developing information leaflets, every one had a lot of things to do. “These are our day to day activities”, said Berby Gita, leader of Srikandi Perintis. The main initiative of this organization is to provide education and counseling on HIV and AIDS to the public as well as transgenders. “We do this kind of activity every day”, said Bugi Lesmana, the group’s Counseling Officer Coordinator. Srikandi Perintis is also actively involved in meetings with Cimahi government agencies. Berby said, “The purpose of holding this kind of event is to facilitate cooperation between private or civic organizations with the government”. “We also want to see some changes of attitude from the public towards transgender groups.” Srikandi Pasundan — Bandung
  • 47. 37| 128 Srikandi Perintis is one of the several transgender organizations in West Java. The organization was formerly named Himpunan Waria Cimahi when it was formed at 2000. Back then, their activities focused mainly on sports and the arts. Himpunan Waria Cimahi rapidly developed into an organization with a lot of activities after the members gained skills and knowledge on running an organization properly. Like any other transgender organizations in West Java, Srikandi Perintis gained skills and knowledge from Srikandi Pasundan, which usually called “SP” in short. SP is the main transgender organization in this province. As the main organization, SP went through a lengthy process in setting up and supporting other transgender organizations in the area since 2006. One of the supports provided to help develop organizations is through Srikandi Pasundan’s participation in various activities organized by the ISEAN-HIVOS Program through GWL-INA. The activities that seemed to be most beneficial for the group are the strategic planning training and leadership trainings. With the knowledge gained from those activities, Srikandi Pasundan is now better able to facilitate the quality improvement and autonomy of transgender organizations in West Java. Srikandi Perintis is one of the more active TG organizations developed transgender by SP. There are also similar organizations in other localities such as Srikandi Patuha in Bandung regency, Srikandi Pantura in Indramayu regency, Srikandi Panyawangan in Kuningan regency. Several Srikandis are also spread across West Java. There are challenges and obstacles in the early stages of their organizational development. The obstacles are mostly related to the resources available to transgenders as well as their mindset in working with the organization. “Thanks to the training attended by the SP staff, challenges can be overcome” said Riri Wirayadi, Leader of SP. The main objective of this organization is to improve the capacities of human resources and support a healthier mindset for its transgender members. “Besides, we also want to see some changes of attitude from public towards transgender groups” Riri added. Aside from forming organizations, SP also encourages these organizations to cooperate with stakeholders and agencies in their respective regions. The goal is for these organizations to contribute to their communities. SP’s efforts are beginning to show results. For example, other transgender organizations in West Java are now conducting their own activities. Some of them had become formal program implementers, such as Srikandi Patuha which is currently an implementing organization for the national HIV and AIDS Prevention Program in Bandung Regency. Thanks to the training attended by SP staff, challenges can be overcome”, said Riri Wirayadi, Leader of SP. “
  • 48. 38| 128 Ike Diyah S.Sos, PKBI Bandung’s Program Manager said, “Transgender organizations in the region have become more competent in running these programs and we felt that positive change. Now, Srikandi Patuha is one of our Implementing Units in Bandung Regency. SP’s support for transgender organization in diverse areas has received positive feedback from stakeholders. “After we received support from SP, we became closer with stakeholders in Indramayu”. This was expressed by Erna Zaen, the Head of Srikandi Pantura Indramayu. Another comment was shared by Selva Setiady, head of Srikandi Patuha Bandung, “Now we can manage our organization more professionally”. By creating more capable transgender organizations across West Java, it is expected that SP will continue its goal towards improved quality, empowerment, and independence so eventually stigma and discrimination from the society against TG people can be reduced. “It is a goal that we continue to fight for”, said Riri.
  • 49. 40| 128 THE PHILIPPINES at a glance The number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines has surpassed the 10,000- mark. The Department of Health's Philippine HIV/AIDS Registry showed that from 1984 to September 2012, there were a total of 10,830 HIV cases and 1,078 of them became AIDS with 353 deaths. By 2013, about 10 new cases are reported daily. Since the first AIDS case was diagnosed in 1984, the HIV/AIDS level in the Philippines has been regarded as mysteriously “low and slow.” However, latest statistics seem to suggest that the country's luck is running out. Although HIV prevalence remains below one percent of the general population, it has already breached one percent among key population at higher risk. Sexual contact is the most common mode of HIV transmission, but from 2007 there has been a shift in the predominant trend of sexual transmission from heterosexual contact (20%) to males having sex with other males (MSM, 80%). The DOH clarified that men who engage in sex with men were not all homosexuals. It reiterated that HIV/AIDS is not about being gay but about men having unprotected sex with men. In October, the DOH announced the results of its study conducted last year that showed online social networking contributes to the rise in the HIV/AIDS cases in the country. The study covered 180 MSM respondents. Of the 180 respondents, 124 admitted to using online network sites for dating and sex, while 133 said they had sex with people they contacted through online network sites. Those who engaged in sex were between the age of 14 and 36. Health Assistant Secretary and Director of the National Epidemiology Center Dr. Enrique Tayag said, “Through online networking sites, MSM can meet without fear of negative social consequences. He added that with the Internet increasing the rates of risky behavior, online social networking can now be included as an evolving risk factor for HIV/AIDS. The list the risky behaviors contributing to the rise of HIV/AIDS includes not using condoms, multiple sex partners, men having sex with men and injecting drug users. [Philippines Department of Health Report on Internet, Prostitution and HIV/AIDS]
  • 50. 41| 128 O ur organization, the Peer Ed ME-PAMACQ has four places where we Rampa. Our name is an acronym for PAsay, MAnila, Caloocan and Quezon Cities. The name is catchy but beyond that, this is where we became known and remembered. Because of the large area covered by the four cities, it was difficult for us to conduct our peer education activities. We circumvent this by assigning active members who are lodged at each site and they have the leeway to do specific activities or events at that site. Each member is just required to inform the organization of these activities. This allows each member to be more comfortable handling his own activity . Peer Ed ME-PAMACQ is a true grassroots organization that started with members having various goals and perspectives. With the help of other people and “Because of our continued participation in trainings under ISEAN- HIVOS Program, members of PAMACQ were able to better themselves”. RAMPA Peer Educators Movement for Empowerment of Pasay, Manila, Caloocan and Quezon City (PAMACQ) — Metro Manila
  • 51. 42| 128 non-government organizations (NGO) such as Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) under the HAPP HIV-AIDS Project Program, UNICEF, Pinoy Competence, Youth Consortium, The Library Foundation (TLF) and Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH) who believed in our capacity and contributed greatly to our development as an organization. During that time, we were becoming more known to the community and had started to make a name in peer education and service with regards to Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH), HIV and AIDS. We understand that we still have a lot to learn. We have said time and again that if we are given the opportunity to learn outside of ourselves in order to achieve our full potential and if given the needed resources, we would go for it! It was this spirit and attitude that brought us this far. In 2012, when we were invited to join in trainings geared towards strengthening the capacity of community based organizations in order to improve the services we can give to MSM and TG with regards to HIV-AIDS, we did not hesitate to heed the call. We felt that a door had opened for us in order to gain knowledge. With the help of Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC) under the ISEAN-HIVOS Program, we were able to attend these various trainings. Our continued participation in trainings under ISEAN-HIVOS Program, members of PAMACQ were able to better themselves. This includes how to network and partner with other stakeholders to solicit support for our programs and activities. Even with other competing organizations, we found ways to harmonize our activities and work together. Each organization was able to help the other in spite of the difference in program goals. This increased our skills and capacity in dealing with other organizations and maximizing our activities. With these activities, we were able to realize our strength in mobilizing resources and found an avenue to improve in the aspect of management, research, documentation, monitoring and evaluation. We understand that we still have a lot to learn”. “
  • 52. 43| 128 Part 2: THE STORY OF WELLA M y name is Rowell B. Caayao, but only to friends who know me well. I am more known by the name Wela. I am 24 years of age and I am proud to say that I am a bisexual. I live in Barangay Bagong Silang, one of the biggest barangays in Caloocan City. I finished my course in Bachelor in Science in Elementary Education in one of the colleges here in the city. My life is a series of RAMPAs. I underwent a lot of experiences before I found my final place of RAMPA in the Peer Ed ME-PAMACQ. Once upon a time, I was a teacher. But later on, I chose to be an employee in a company as a telemarketer (Call Center Agent) because of the demand and the higher pay. I was also a candidate in Miss Gay Pageants in our Barangay. The first time I joined a pageant, I was crowned the most beautiful contestant. It was in joining pageants that started my exposure to the community. In mid-2012, an outreach activity was done by a peer educator trained by the ISEAN-HIVOS Program in our community. I was one of the clients. I learned a lot from this activity. Indeed, my interest was captured when we talked about MSM and TG rights. Even more so, my attention engaged when the talk turned to HIV education. I was very surprised that the peer educator was very good at public speaking and of the
  • 53. 44| 128 information that was disseminated so much so that I wanted to be a peer educator myself. I asked if I could be part of the organization, and he gladly told me all about Peer Ed ME-PAMACQ. In other words, I became a member on the spot. Since then, I became a part of the organization. With the help of their Facebook site, I was able to learn more about the organization and understood and appreciate the activities being conducted. And because of this, I decided to give my time to the activities that they were conducting. After the first batch of peer educators training under the ISEAN-HIVOS Program, Peer Ed ME-PAMACQ recommended me to join the next batch of trainees. When I was asked, I agreed to be part of the training without hesitation and immediately prepared all my requirements. It was this training that opened my mind and deepened my understanding. I became a person who achieved enlightenment, understanding, respect and acceptance of my personality and character. The ISEAN-HIVOS Program has helped my persona by opening my mind and adding to my knowledge. They helped me achieve greater confidence and paved a way for me to be able to stand in front of my peers regardless of status in life. I have become more responsible. I am able to trust my organization fully in the short time that I have spent with it. After the training, we proceeded to go back to our community to fulfill our responsibility. There were instances that could not be avoided that may cause harm to us as peer educators. On occasions, we were mistakenly thought to be assets for the police, pimps, drug pushers or worse a prostitute. These are experiences that I will never forget while conducting Peer Education under the IHP Program. I know that this obligation that I took is not something to joke about. While conducting peer education, I saw and heard from my clients that many of them need to open themselves up to knowledge about their rights as homosexuals. Many of them have high level knowledge of what HIV is but lack the knowledge on how to prevent the disease. With my background as a teacher, I take the effort to learn more about the disease when time permits. Every time I join a Pageant, I take this as an opportunity to interject HIV education and MSM/TG rights when the judge’s interview comes. I see this as a way to provide further all that I learned about IHP especially to those who are like me. Because even now, many of us are still blind to the facts and lack knowledge. I am grateful to my family and friends who have given me full support. I became a person who achieved enlighten, understanding, respect and acceptance of my personality and character.” “
  • 54. 45| 128 I n the recent years, Cebu City has experienced a surge in the number of new HIV cases. In 2008 and 2009, our city’s HIV Registry recorded 10 and 11 new cases per day but in the last three years, the daily number of new cases increased more than tenfold. Thus from 1989 (the year when the first HIV case was recorded) up to 2012, our city has registered a total of 604 PLHIV. A majority are males and injecting drug users who are engaged in same sex and bisexual exposures. They also have low knowledge about HIV, low condom use during their last anal sex, and poor access to health and other services. Many of them are not coming to the city’s health facilities for counseling and testing mainly due to the continuing stigma attached to the disease. The increasing number of HIV cases in our city especially among males who have sex with other males (MSM) and transgenders has alarmed our organization. VCT ON WHEELS Cebu Plus Association, Inc — Cebu “It is easier for us who have no transportation money to go to the city health office for testing because the van or Cebu Mobile Plus comes to us.”
  • 55. 46| 128 We are a Social Security and Exchange registered PLHIV NGO that has been actively partnering with our city government’s Multi-Sectoral STD/AIDS Council (CCMSAC), the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Legislative) Federation, our City Health Department particularly its Social Hygiene Clinic, and the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), a public hospital. VSMMC provides office space in its compound for our association to facilitate our coordination regarding clients who need treatment and support. We network with local and national NGOs and the private sector in a number of HIV and reproductive health activities. Our city has a Social Hygiene Clinic but the MSM and transgender are not coming to this facility because they perceive that this clinic is solely for female sex workers. It is also operated by relatively older female health providers who are viewed as unresponsive to the MSM and transgenders (TG) health and psycho-social needs. We know that our city has several MSM and transgender people (estimated number is around 12,000 out of 304,000 males 10 years and older in 2007) but many are not coming out for VCT. They can be reached in their barangays but we needed an effective strategy to get to where they are converging and to make them utilize the services of our Social Hygiene Clinic. Our participation in the PNGOC-IHP for about two years now has professionalized our organization but most importantly, it is beginning to improve our target clientele’s HIV knowledge and change their behavior and attitudes toward VCT. The transformation that we are experiencing now can be directly attributed to the IHP SAN Fund support to our proposal to have the Cebu Mobile Plus clinic and the Wellness Lounge at the Social Hygiene Clinic that exclusively caters to MSM and TG. VCT on wheels: Service at their doorsteps! The Cebu Mobile Plus was created to promote on-site HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for community-based MSM, TG, PWID and other population segments that are interested to know about their HIV status for prevention and care. This mobile facility intends to create acceptance and demand for HIV and AIDS services especially among the population groups that are hesitant or do not have the time and resources to visit the government’s health facilities. It aims to reduce the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS and to enhance partnership between our association and the different groups in our city. One community-based client gave the following feedback regarding our services. “Mass sayun ug dali na para namu nga walai ika plete kung mag pa testme sa City Health kai ang van o ang Cebu Mobile Plus ra ang moadto para namu. Unya ang impact is sayun ra ug di na hasol para namu.” Our participation in the PNGOC-IHP for about two years now has professionalized our organization but most importantly, it is beginning to improve our target clientele’s HIV knowledge and change their behavior and attitudes toward VCT. “
  • 56. 47| 128 It is easier for us who have no transportation money to go to the city health office for testing because the van or Cebu Mobile Plus comes to us. This approach has an impact on us because it is more convenient and hassle-free. The purchase of a second-hand van came from the IHP-Stop AIDS Now (SAN) Fund. With support from local sources, we had the van repaired, repainted and re- upholstered to make it suitable and attractive for our outreach activities. Because our association is a member of Cebu City’s Multi-Sectoral AIDS Council, the local government executive and other officials approved a monthly gasoline allocation of 150 liters for as long as the mobile clinic is operational. The City Health Department’s Social Hygiene Clinic (SHC) and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), a public hospital, closely collaborate with us by providing the medical technologist or a medical doctor during the mobile clinic outreach and in testing the blood samples that the mobile clinic obtains from the communities. The Cebu Mobile Plus was formally launched on February 14, 2013 and the activity was attended by key Indonesian and Philippine IHP senior staff as well as the local government, NGO, and CBO partners of our association. The mobile clinic team is comprised of our trained peer educators and a medical technologist or a medical doctor from the SHC or the VSMMC. The team usually goes to a barangay (the lowest government administrative structure) and provides information about HIV and AIDS to a group of MSM, TG and other interested people. Then they invite the group for VCT which include extraction of blood samples. To ensure confidentiality and privacy, blood extraction is done inside the van by the medical technologist or the medical doctor. The blood samples are brought to the Social Hygiene Clinic for testing. If a blood sample is HIV positive, it is usually sent by the City Health Department to Manila for confirmatory testing. The results of the community-based testing are usually given to the clients and they are invited to the new Wellness Lounge at SHC for counseling and other services. To hasten the entry of the Cebu Mobile Van to the various city barangays, our association signed a memorandum of agreement with the city’s Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (SKF) President John Philip Po II and the SKF chairpersons from 80 barangays. Their support to our work is reinforced by the Department of Interior and Local Government’s administrative order instructing the barangays to allocate funds for HIV and AIDS-related activities. The SK and other barangay officials usually identify the target clientele and help organize the project activities with our mobile team. At present, our mobile team has already extended services to over 20 barangays and has several more to visit. A SKF official in one barangay gave the following feedback about our mobile At present, our mobile team has already extended services to over 20 barangays and has several more to visit.” “
  • 57. 48| 128 clinic. “Concerning the health of our youth constituents who are really interested with the service, it’s easier for us to contact Cebuplus especially in conducting information education about HIV and AIDS. It’s hassle free and more of our constituents could really avail of this service.” Our mobile clinic is now starting to visit different schools in our city. In one university, the administrators want to partner with us in providing HIV and AIDS information to their students especially those who are enrolled in the National Service Training Program. The university wants to expand this partnership to other campuses to reach as many students as possible. A university student gave the following feedback about our mobile services. “As a student, it is really embarrassing to visit the Social Hygiene clinic… people who come to the Social Hygiene [Clinic] are sex workers and I don’t want to be tagged as a sex worker. This Cebu Mobile Van— it’s friendly…and it is really the first I think here in Cebu [that is] providing free testing to [the] community.” Aside from schools, the mobile clinic also visits other nearby cities and provinces to extend services there. Because the gasoline used for our van comes from the coffers of Cebu City, the approval of the City Health Office is sought for this out-of-town advocacy and VCT activities. We are also arranging that the van’s gas and other related expenses would be covered by the inviting local government units. Our city’s SHC finds our mobile clinic beneficial to the HIV and AIDS program of the government. Dr. Ilya A. Tac-an, the SHC Head gave the following comments. “The conduct of outreach activities to make HIV/AIDS services accessible and available to the key affected populations is one of the important components of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS Program. Mobility is one of the constraints of the Cebu-SHC in reaching and providing services to key affected populations not availing the services of our facilities. With our partnership with the Cebuplus Association Inc., we are able to make use of the Cebu Mobile Plus that enables us to enhance our outreach activities and improve coverage especially for MSM, TG and PWID”. Dr. Chamberlain Agtuca from VSMMC who often joins our mobile clinic team gave the following feedback. “The Mobile Van is an indispensible tool in the STI/AIDS Prevention Program as well as in the Treatment, Care and Support Program. It acts as a small office or clinic in the street where people can get VCT and be protected from the prying eyes of the public. Its mobile structure gives it the ability to reach far-flung areas or go to groups of people who cannot simply get to the hospital or Social Hygiene Clinic for VCT. Being mobile also gives it a flexible "office-hours" schedule which can easily be The Mobile Van is and indispensable tool in the STI/AIDS Prevention Program as well as in the Treatment, Care and Support Program. “
  • 58. 49| 128 adjusted to meet the needs of the target population it desires to reach. The vehicle also has served its purpose in bringing clients and patients from their houses to the hospitals or other supporting agencies in their time of need”. Our association is just beginning to experience the positive effects of our mobile clinic project. We intend to continue this effort because we are encouraged by the favorable feedback and support from our various partners. We thank PNGOC-IHP for giving us the initial resources to realize our mission to be of service to our city and other places of Metro Cebu.
  • 59. 50| 128 T oday as society grows, there is a gain in knowledge related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. People’s minds are being opened up to what was considered taboo before. There is an opportunity in the fact that various stakeholders have taken on the task of carrying on the advocacy to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. In Davao, networking and advocacy activities addressed many issues and concerns on HIV-AIDS. This also improved the relationship of the Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association Inc. (MAAAI) and the community of people living with HIV (PLHIV), strengthening the perception of an organization that cares. Creating ties helped lessen the stigma surrounding AIDS allowing PLHIV to reach out to other partners. MAAAI was founded by 16 PLHIVs in order to support their fellow PLHIV in Mindanao. The founders were compelled by the need to reach out to those who were held back and afraid to share their stories because of perceived stigma from society. The act of coming together breathed hope into the souls of those weakened by a disease perceived to end lives the moment the infection starts. In a way, the intent was to show that there is life after HIV as was the importance of caring for those who had been ‘Prevention is better than cure’. There is a reason why this old adage is still in use. Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association Inc. (MAAAI) — Mindanao
  • 60. 51| 128 abandoned because of HIV. Within a span of three years, MAAAI grew into a 500 PLHIV member movement and is still growing. Each member lives with a purpose exemplified by advocating in schools, colleges and universities. All the while, each member is being given the opportunity to create a unique solidarity between themselves, their loved ones and their families. In spite of the existing misguided perception of society on PLHIV, MAAAI continues to this day to envision a dignified, improved and sustainable quality of life for every PLHIV. The approach is to couple organizational and networking progress with the development and empowerment of each member. Opportunities for training, seminars and workshops were utilized by the organization and attended by MAAAI members. It was through these kinds of activities that we acquired knowledge giving us the confidence to face and talk to people about the importance of healthy living. Our development enables us to give the correct information about HIV and AIDS to those who truly need it. One of these opportunities to empower the organization and our members happened in June 2012 when the ISEAN-Hivos Program came into picture. Our members were enjoined to attend various trainings that helped us in our advocacy. The initial thought was that the program was just like many other organizations that would leave little impact on our advocacy. The activities and trainings held proved the notion wrong. Each training imparted important skills and knowledge. More importantly, the program provided a means for practical application of the technical knowledge that we learned during training. This encompassed skills on planning, networking and organizational development. To this day, many PLHIV work behind the success of MAAAI as peer educators, organizational development professionals, monitoring and evaluation officers, project documenters and even story tellers. These individuals woke up from their self-inflicted helplessness to empower other PLHIV. Each member finds purpose in helping other PLHIVs to get back on their feet in order to start living life again. Each member has a story to tell from which other PLHIV can draw inspiration from. Before long, the activities of the organization caught the attention of not only the PLHIV community, but also that of volunteers, government and non-government organizations and other agencies. The involvement of these institutions and individuals
  • 61. 52| 128 has helped expanded the facilitation of the advocacy. This also strengthened the commitment and established the responsibilities of PLHIV in helping prevent the spread of HIV by having a strong, well-networked organization. Specifically, the organization has moved towards partnering with other organizations in other cities for support group services, referral mechanisms and other kinds of assistance PLHIVs need. The success this awareness campaign is exemplified by the development of Davao City’s Reproductive Health and Wellness Centre (RHWC, formerly known as Social Hygiene Clinic). The organization’s strengthened network and referral system is continually driving many people to sign up for VCT and HIV testing. The quality of a VCT that puts first the protection of clients by ensuring absolute confidentiality is another driver for the organization’s reputable conduct of services. With a strengthened organization, excellent referral system and the provision of quality services, MAAAI hopes to reach a greater number of clients in Davao Region and other parts of Mindanao. MAAAI will continue its information and education campaign through seminars, symposia and through other programs such as the Peer Educators Program. This initiative is of great assistance to the City Government of Davao in preventing the spread of STIs, HIV and AIDS, thus contributing to international target of “Zero New Infection, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-Related Deaths”. *** “A new and bigger dream is sprouting out from our local success: the establishment of a bigger network, expanding to other cities and municipalities in and beyond Davao Region. We want to reach out to those not yet reached by other forms of information campaign regarding STIs, HIV and AIDS.” -Neressa Felix President of the Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association Inc.
  • 62. 53| 128 "OMG (Oh My God)! It was truly amazing! There are a lot of things I learned from the training and other CBOs are so supportive for the participation of STRAP as a transgender organization. This is a good venue for us to learn the technical side of monitoring and to be part of the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign..." STRAP on Its Way to Health: A Transgender Right Society of Transsexual Women of The Philippines — Metro Manila M ae Hernandes, a Society of Transsexual Women of The Philippines (STRAP) member since the baby years of the organization, provided excellent feedback during their monthly Support Group Meeting (SGM) about the wonderful expe- rience she had during the Training on Monitoring and Evaluation on UNGASS conducted by Philippine NGO Council (PNGOC) through ISEAN-Hivos Program (IHP). It was the beginning of a new journey, a new challenge, a change.
  • 63. 54| 128 Change is a beautiful thing and believed to be essential to one's life. It is as in- evitable and lovely as growth in the cycle of life. Paradoxically, it is also one of the scariest and most feared! Human Rights Fighter STRAP, the first and the longest functioning transsexual organization in the Philippines, has gone through the tumultuous vicissitudes of survival, fighting for transgender rights - human rights. It has concentrated its efforts, time and resources for the advancement of “transgenderism” in the country. It mushroomed by leaps and bounds notwithstanding the predicaments of internal management. 2011 is one of the most significant years in the organization's journey in the pur- suit of its advocacy. It opened its doors to the empowerment of its members, strengthening its networks and affiliations, mobilization and utilization of the strengths and weaknesses of each member through profiling. It has begun to em- brace various opportunities that knocked its doors. It was also the time when it rati- fied its constitution and created its by-laws. More national and international confer- ences and conventions, trainings, talks have been attended by STRAP. This formidable transsexual organization is nourished and impelled by its in- stinctive power to survive how threatening the world can be. Time has tested the resilience of the group through the changes that defied the existence of it, be it an internal threat, outrageous societal parody on transgenderism, or even the rise of horrifying cultural and international impediments. It remains strong and able to give life and colour to the transgender community in the Philippines. In 2002, the Anti-Discrimination Bill (House Bill 2784) was revised to include "gender identity" in the language of the bill to address discrimination, not just sexual orientation. Sass Sasot, one of the founding members of STRAP was a great help and was instrumental during the revision of the House Bill 2784 in the office of the Amnes- ty International-Philippines. The bill survived up to the 3rd reading in Congress but was disrupted by the 2004 National election and did not reach to the Senate. "The bill just landed on the accomplishment report of the 12th Congress of the Philippines," Sass explained despite, “The bill was unanimously approved" in the second and third reading. Time has come! STRAP has been a support and an activist group all these years. Though it was active in different activities both national and international issues that concern hu- man rights violations, it has given less attention to transgender health except the psy- chological aspect of the community members through support meetings. STRAP has In 2002, the Anti- Discrimination Bill (House Bill 2784) was revised to include “gender identity” in the language of the bill to address the discrimination, not just sexual orientation.” “
  • 64. 55| 128 taken the consideration of refocusing its direction to attend to HIV and AIDS aware- ness campaign not until Dawn Madrona and Charlise Williams, both STRAP officers, shared excellent news to the group of the knowledge they acquired and the realiza- tion they got after the Workshop on Localized BCC Materials Development, another ISEAN-Hivos Program conducted by PNGOC. Scientific and well-structured implementation of programs and projects came into realization when Kate Montecarlo, Vice-President of STRAP, Dawn Madrona im- mersed themselves in a week-long empowerment of ISEAN-Hivos Program, a training on Strategic Planning and Training on ICT-based Tools for Research Initiatives and Documentation. Instantaneously, with the knowledge they got in their training on Strategic Planning where it tackled, Vision, Mission, Objectives, Programs and Project imple- mentation, it was easy for the organization to identify its priorities based on im- portance and urgency. It has utilized the power of alliances and affiliations. STRAP, with the support of allied CBOs, is emphasizing the significance of its involvement to address HIV/AIDS by focusing on the transgender community in the Philippines. Aside from the learning experience and knowledge, STRAP has widened its affil- iations through the support of other CBOs . STRAP has improved tremendously when it implements its projects and has a clearer objectives, projects and programs. Monitoring and documentation tech- niques have been implemented to measure the success and the changes that are tak- ing place in the course of its journey. It has documented its community-based activi- ties like her participation in the relief operations, feeding programs together with the transgender youth of Pasay City, etc. STRAP has gone a long way and gained more allies. It has established another path towards transgender rights, taking care of the transgender health because STRAP believes, transgender health is a transgender right, transgender rights are hu- man rights. I am happy to know that STRAP has come out in the campaign against HIV and AIDS. Currently, we don't know the level of risk like those who take hormones... we don't have the data.... The best one who can understand it better is a person who has a TG experience. You know the market because you are the market." - Vinn Pagtakhan, President, LoveYourself, Inc. “
  • 65. 56| 128 F or Love Yourself, it was in the year 2012 where a renewed focus was seen on three fronts which helped to shape the LoveYourself brand of today: reaffirming its engagement of key populations through mass testing, building its capacity with stakeholders such as The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)and the ISEAN-Hivos Program, increasing its visibility by participating in HIV-related events by balancing the advocacy space with activities and events. At the beginning of the year, RITM offered LoveYourself the Change Agents training program without cost to a sizable number of members. LoveYourself membership was increased by several batches, enabling the conduct of consecutive mass-testing from February through July. Notably, it was the innovative use of social media to attract clients, their multi- regional scope, and their collaborative, volunteer-driven logistics, that paved the way for LoveYourself to be rigorously honed into a nationally-recognized best practice. “Dare to be yourself. Care for others. And share your gifts. These are the three fundamental building blocks of LoveYourself.” - Ronnievinn “Vinn” Pagtakhan, Founder/President TLY The Love Yourself, Inc — Metro Manila
  • 66. 57| 128 This continued success was recognized in July 2012 when RITM was awarded custody of their Satellite Clinic in Malate. This was inaugurated as the LoveYourself Hub. This was published in major broadsheets in the country that the first-ever weekend hub for MSM run by a CBO had opened. This brought about the challenge of the conduct of day-to-day operations and inclusion into the organization’s service strategy. A gap on competencies needed to be addressed Without having to look further for the opportunity for capacity building, in May, the ISEAN-Hivos Program networked with LoveYourself to participate in the establishment of a national MSM network to address gay, bisexual, MSM and transgender issues. This engagement granted LoveYourself access to a series of ISEAN-Hivos capacity-building training programs in the ensuing months on the topics of Leadership, Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Information Communication Technology, and Behavioral Change Communications. This culminated in December when LoveYourself, with financial support from ISEAN-Hivos, conducted its first strategic planning session, which greatly professionalized its operations by clarifying the functions of each of its five committees:  Administration, which came to handle legal matters, management, and research and documentation Counseling, Education and Training (CET), which became accountable for all directly HIV-related matters Communication, which was to handle campaigns, public relations, messaging and messaging platforms Events, which was to ensure sufficient fundraising and strong branding Partnerships, which was to manage the relationship with PBSR and establish new partners. With its growing voice in the community, LoveYourself understood that there was a real opportunity to scale up its efforts. Throughout the year, though LoveYourself was better known for the efficiency of its online campaigns. It galvanized momentum by remaining visible on the ground. In February 2012, LoveYourself held its second Café, and experimented with Blink, a blind-dating event. In May, it partnered with Yoga for Life, for an annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Its anniversary in July 2012 was celebrated with various activities, such as the Circle of Love, a party at BED manila, “How Do I Love Thee”, a month-long photo-exhibit featuring the works of Ian Alquiros, and
  • 67. 58| 128 special screenings of Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (a short film). “A year after, I found something more..... I found a family... OHANA :) a place where nobody gets left behind” We reached thousands of people, numbers that we never imagined when we started this. We focused on the person who we think who needs us the most as support group and peers. In November 2012, LoveYourself launched a three-day event, Triduum, in preparation for World AIDS Day which incorporated a tweet fest (#SaferSexTips), a mass testing in Makati (“Makati S.E.B.”), and a screening of the 2011 AIDS- documentary We Were Here. In December 2012, LoveYourself also participated enthusiastically in the Pride March, held in Makati City . At the end of 2012, having tested well over two thousand clients in that year alone, and with a membership base in hundreds, the organization hit its stride. But cracks were beginning to show. The need to appeal to a broader demographic, as well as some client concerns about discretion during mass-testing, necessitated a rethinking of the overall branding and marketing strategy. Thus, when advertising agency Campaigns & Grey came knocking, the door was opened wide. For 2013, LoveYourself aims to function as the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Campaigns and Grey, harnessing their capabilities to bolster LoveYourself’s 2013 visual campaigns. By February Project Indulge was born, a provocative HIV-awareness campaign that departed radically from the more commonplace fear-messaging, instead aiming its crosshairs specifically at the stigma surrounding HIV testing by re-imagining it simply as part of a person’s regular grooming regimen to stay healthy and sexy. The new marketing strategy was put to the test in the March mass testing, which brought in record 245 clients—the largest ever in the Philippines to date. Concurrently, the discovery that a subsection of the target population was particularly sensitive to stigma and demanded discretion during testing led to the conceptualization of LoveYourself Platinum, an even more discreet monthly testing service. By April 2013 with the help of SAN Fund grant facilitated by IHP, LoveYourself had also unveiled a new production entitled Project FLY, an HIV- education video campaign designed specifically for an MSM audience, uniting the talents of Philippine internet sensation Sebastian Castro, Mr. Gay World Philippines 2012 Carlito Floro Rosadino, and budding fashion designer Javier Bermejo. SAN Fund was the catalyst to complete the project indulge campaign, in the hopes of reaching more people online and translate it to actual people to visit our clinic and avail of our counseling, education and testing.” - Lawrence Villegas, Director for Communication “
  • 68. 59| 128 Today, even while it is staring down an HIV epidemic LoveYourself is looking towards a brighter future. Activities such as karaoke Saturdays (“TLY-oke”) and film screenings are in the works to prepare for a new generation of LoveYourself members. A second hub, LoveYourself Pioneer, is set for launch in August. A LoveYourself-owned resource center is also on the horizon.
  • 69. 60| 128 T he NEC HIV & AIDS Registry report stated that for the month of December 2012, there were 292 new HIV cases, a figure that was nine percent higher than the previous December. A majority of these new cases were males who have sex with other males. The increasing trend of HIV cases is reflected in the total number of positive individuals in October 2012 since the first HIV case was identified in 1984. The Philippines has registered a total number of 11,702 HIV positive cases. Out of this number, 975 had AIDS and they were mostly males in their mid-thirties. Over one third or 342 of the reported AIDs cases had died. The same HIV & AIDS registry report stated that in September 2012, there were 3,115 PLHIV who were on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ARV). This number “The awareness about HIV/AIDS has just begun, and we are expecting more people who will be diagnosed with HIV in the coming days,” Targeting 95% of Adherence in ARV Medication Pinoy Plus Association, Inc. — Metro Manila
  • 70. 61| 128 comprised about one third of the total confirmed HIV positive cases. Last year, our organization conducted a study with a sample of 256 PLHIV, and found that more PLHIV (77%) were taking ARV. These research findings led our President, Mr. Eddy Razon, to express the following optimistic comment. Despite the disparity between our small study and the national statistics of ARV users, the vital point is that there are still many PLHIV who are not availing of ARV, a medication which could be accessed from public health facilities. It was also observed that many PLHIV who are using ARV do not adhere to the regimen of taking the drugs every day. Our organization analyzed this situation and concluded that we had to improve our approach in educating the PLHIV about HIV & AIDS. We thought that information about prevention and well-being should not stop in the provision of counseling and testing. Newly-diagnosed PLHIV should be informed about the importance of ARV compliance and adherence, positive living, and about opportunistic infections. They should also be provided with psycho-social support services. Because of the foregoing realization, our organization requested for technical assistance and support from PNGOC-IHP under the SAN FUND Project, to develop an innovative learning group session (LGS) which will be followed by a monitoring system to ensure ARV adherence among a majority (a target of 95%) of PLHIV participants. A series of LGS targeting MSM and TG PLHIV groups (preferably new ARV enrollees) were planned to be conducted either in the treatment hubs or other appropriate and non-discriminating venues. Profiles of the LGS participants including ARV usage and related information were going to be collected to establish baseline information and relevant demographic data that would affect ARV compliance. After the LGS, we intend to monitor the participants to determine the factors affecting ARV adherence. A database will be established and maintained to store the profiles, monitoring and evaluation data. During the LGS, clients will be referred to other psycho-social support services. The Learning Group Sessions The project is being implemented for three months (it has actually started), with the goal of conducting LGS for 120 PLHIVs regarding ARV treatment and adherence, positive living (including home remedies, disclosure, management of psycho-social problems, and safer sex practice), and the prevention of opportunistic infections. It’s a good indication that many PLHIV are now taking ARV. At least, we are about to lessen the number of PLHIV who are dying with the complications of AIDS.” – Mr. Eddy Razon. President PPAI “
  • 71. 62| 128 Prior to the foregoing activities, our organization trained six peer educators who would facilitate the LGS. I am one of these trained peer educators. We participated in a three-day workshop which covered lessons about effective presentation, facilitation, profiling and monitoring. Then we spent two days reviewing basic information about ARV treatment and adherence, positive health promotion, and prevention of opportunistic infections. One day was allotted for the practicum. After the training, my co-peer educators and I began to facilitate the LGS with the guidance of our trainers. This is an on-going activity which will last for six weeks. Each LGS session has 10 to 12 MSM and TG participants and it is going to be conducted for around four hours. During the LGS, the PLHIV participants are introduced to the Pinoy+PALS (Peer Assistance and Learning Support) system to guide them about specific care and support service through the buddy-system approach. This means that a PLHIV who has participated in previous LGS and other Pinoyplus activities, will guide and assist the new PLHIV-LGS participant This system will also encourage the new PLHIV to cooperate with the project staff and to learn to be supportive of other PLHIV. The PAL system is expected to play an important role in enhancing the newly- diagnosed PLHIV’s ability to adapt to positive living. Moreover, the LGS participants are going to be provided with the monitoring form called Pinoy+PALS sheet which will be filled out every day and submitted to our organization ten days after the LGS. This monitoring form will include information about the schedule of ARV medication, replenishment from the treatment hub, possible opportunistic infections, number of sexual partners and condom use compliance. Monitoring and focused groups Out of the 120 LGS participants who will submit their monitoring forms, at least 40 of those who adhered to the ARV medication will be invited to participate in focus group discussions (FGD) to determine the factors affecting ARV adherence, issues, and challenges. Suggestions to improve the LGS, the buddy system and other related activities will also be obtained. These 40 FGD (or more) participants will be given universal identified codes (UIC) and the information generated from them will be stored in the data base. The peer educators-facilitators will assist in documenting and analyzing the focus groups with the guidance of our project manager. The FGD results, particularly the suggestions, will be utilized to improve project operations and systems. The ARV is free. All they have to do is to get it from their treatment hub.” said Dr. Bob Torres from San Lazaro Hospital. “
  • 72. 63| 128 Our organization is aware that it will encounter some challenges while implementing the innovative intervention but it is optimistic that with the support from PNGOC- IHP, the private and non-government organizations, the government health system, and from the positive community, we will be able to implement this innovative project effectively. We know that it’s not going to be an easy thing for us to accomplish. The FGD (or other) participants will be given universal identified codes (UIC) and the information generated from them will be stored in the data base. The peer educators-facilitators will assist in documenting and analyzing the focus groups with the guidance of our project manager. The FGD results particularly the suggestions, will be utilized to improve project operations and systems. Our organization is aware that it will encounter some challenges while implementing the innovative intervention but it is optimistic that with the support from PNGOC- IHP, the private and non-government organizations, the government health system, and from the positive community, we will be able to implement this innovative project effectively. There’s free and available medicine for the PLHIV … It’s just many of the patients are ignoring the value and importance of this medicine.” — Dr. Arcangel from San Lazaro Hospital “
  • 73. 64| 128 T he rising number of HIV and AIDS cases among MSM and people who inject drugs (PWID) in our city has pushed us to explore new and viable strategies to provide sexual health information and services to these marginalized groups. Aside from the mobile clinic, a friendly and safe space was needed so that they would be able to access quality sexual health information, STI and HIV services. We asked the City Health Office if it would allow us to utilize a vacant room on its ground floor and transform this into a Wellness Lounge. The place is ideal for such a facility because the location provides privacy to potential clients. After obtaining the CHO’s approval, we included the establishment of a Wellness Lounge for MSM, TG and PWID in our proposal for support from the IHP-SAN Fund grant. “It’s easier to access testing and it is not so embarrassing anymore to ask for condoms because there is a proper place for MSM and TG. Before they were embarrassed to come here because older women attend to them … at the Cebu Wellness Lounge, our peer who is MSM and TG, attend to us.” THE WELLNESS LOUNGE Cebu Plus Association, Inc. — Cebu
  • 74. 65| 128 With support from the foregoing and other local partners, the CHO’s vacant room was renovated and refurbished to make it MSM and TG friendly. With the SAN- Fund grant, it was furnished with audio-visual equipment for training and advocacy. Some computers with internet connection were installed for use by clients while waiting for counseling and other services. The Cebuplus Association Wellness Lounge is the first facility that is lodged in the City Health Office and it is providing gender-responsive, appropriate information and services to MSM, TG and PWID. Its services include STI diagnosis and treatment, HIV counseling and testing, one-on-one counseling, as well as condom and lubricant distribution. These services are offered from Monday to Friday, at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekly activities such as learning group sessions, film showing, group counseling and other special activities are included. Free HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) is conducted using the standard protocol in giving pre-test and post-test counseling. Scheduled activities are posted online and outside the CHO. Trained peer educators and counselors operate the Wellness Lounge and medical services are extended by SHA providers. One-on-one counseling on risk assessment and risk reduction are regularly provided. Privacy and confidentiality are ensured in this facility. Feedback was obtained from Wellness Lounge clients and one of them gave the following encouraging comments. “The Cebu Wellness Lounge is helpful to MSM for it provided them with a place to get together to share some ideas and personal experiences. It encourages more MSM and TG to undergo testing and help those who got reactive results. This is where you can find a genuine support group.” Sustainability and prospects Both the Cebu Mobile Plus Van and the Wellness Lounge will no doubt continue their operations because our association, the city government, the SKF, and public health institutions are committed to supporting these innovations. Gas will be continually provided by the LGU for the van to sustain its outreach work while the City Health Office will cover the electricity and maintenance of the Wellness Lounge. The SHA and VSMMC health providers will continue to extend STI, HIV and AIDS services in the field and at the health facility. In the short period that we have partnered with PNGOC-IHP, we have experienced significant changes that would no doubt reduce the number of HIV and AIDS cases among MSM, TG, PWID and the general population. The presence of the Cebu Wellness Lounge which is manned by trained male/TG staff improved accessibility and acceptability by the male/TG clients to HIV and AIDS services like HIV education and HIV counseling and testing.” “
  • 75. 66| 128 “For many years, the SHC caters primarily to establishment-based female sex workers and a few walk-in clients. Although the facility is open for everyone with reproductive health issues, the all-female staff and the presence of mostly female clients inhibit the access of other types of clients: male/TG clients to the services of the clinic. The presence of the Cebu Wellness Lounge that is manned by trained male/ TG staff improved accessibility and acceptability by the male/TG clients to HIV/AIDS services like HIV education and HIV counseling and testing. The proximity of the lounge to the SHC facilitates referral for STI diagnosis and treatment and other medical needs.” commented Dr. Ilya A. Tac-an who is the Head of the Cebu City Health Department Social Hygiene Clinic (SHC). A client of the Lounge said … “It is easier to access testing and it is not so embarrassing anymore to ask for condoms because there is a proper place for MSM and TG. Before they were embarrassed to come here because older women attend to them…at the Cebu Wellness Lounge, our peer who is MSM and TG, attend to us.” “The Wellness Lounge is a cozy place where PLHIVs could hang out and meet other PLHIVs and get to share their experiences together. Its location, which is in the heart of a bustling city, is accessible to everybody. Inside this room, people could be comfortable about themselves. They can express their feelings and concerns without the fear of stigma and discrimination. They can ask questions or voice issues. They can also expect valid information from trained personnel. Here, they can form friendships and create relationships that could help them withstand the challenges they would meet along the way,” shared another client. The Cebu Wellness Lounge will continue to provide a safe and caring environment for community members who need information and assistance in accessing services. Beyond this, it is our “second home.” The Wellness Lounge is a cozy place where PLHIVs could hang out and meet other PLHIVs and get share their experiences together.” “
  • 76. 67| 128 C laire (not her real name) remembered sitting with her transwomen friends in an open cafeteria when their group where strafed by unidentified car-riding men who used air guns that fired pellets. “Kabarog kug kalit nga pinalayat naigu direcho akong paa. Sa lamesa pa jud nia ang naigu sa ako atu akong likod nako. Daghan man mi atu. (I jumped off from my seat and my leg got hit. The person behind me got hit too. Many got hit),” she recalled. “May gani di to tinuod nga pusil (Good thing it wasn’t a real gun),” she added. “Upon the passage of Cebu city discrimination ordinance I feel like extending my wings flying high up in the sky.” Winning the Battle Against Discrimination Transgender Coalition for the Liberation of the Reassigned Sex (COLORS), Inc — Cebu
  • 77. 68| 128 This story hit the national headlines. It angered the LGBT community specially the transwomen in Cebu. It aroused the fearful feeling of being unsafe in the streets of Cebu City. COLORS, the only transgender organization in Cebu, issued a statement on its stance to fight the violence and discrimination against the LGBT community. “We were driven to push our local government to resolve the issue by making a law that prohibits discrimination and uphold human rights to all,” said Magdalena Robinson, President and Founder of COLORS. Journey of the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance An invitation from the office of Arleigh Sitoy, Cebu Provincial Board member, for a consultation meeting on the proposed ordinances on an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance and a Third Gender Toilet was the start. “We gave our thoughts on the draft and we observed that creating a third gender toilet would lead to more stigmatization of the transgender sector. Lack of support from the provincial board was a big drawback. Thus the ordinance did not even reach the hearing stage,” said Robinson. More and more cases of discrimination, reported and unreported, came to pass without an anti- discrimination measure. COLORS actively participated in activities that can help out in pushing for an anti- discrimination ordinance. One of these is a focused group discussion (FGD) at the Cebu City Hall – a side activity of Human Soul Exhibit mounted by the city government. The output of the FGD served as baseline for the discriminatory practices and experiences in Cebu City. “We patiently and anxiously waited for updates and constantly asked for progress. Asking for updates and progress was the best practice in advocacy,” said Robinson. Later that year, COLORS led the way in reviving the Pride March of Cebu. Robinson said: “We invited Councilor Alvin Dizon, an identified Cebu City legislator who committed his support for the LGBT cause. He then pledged to propose to the City Council a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Ordinance. As our champion, Dizon, called for a resolution on the inclusion of LGBTs in the Gender and Development (GAD) programs of each barangay in the city and successfully worked on its
  • 78. 69| 128 unanimous approval giving us our first victory,” said Robinson. Subsequently, COLORS was given the opportunity to sit as a member of the technical working group (TWG) in charge of drafting the ordinance. The group decided to lobby for more sponsors to build a strong support for the proposed ordinance. COLORS succeeded in convincing five other councilors to support the ordinance. “We felt that because of our constant presence made them decide to co-author the bill. It was easy for them to hear our issues and together come up with its solution. In spite of the jubilation, we received depressing news that a transwoman was allegedly raped and later beaten to death by unknown men in one of the mountain barangays of Cebu City. We felt to commemorate our trans-sisters who fell victims of discrimination and hate crimes. We lighted candles for them. They may have fallen but their spirit was not crushed. Further, this ignited our passion to push the passage of the ordinance,” said Robinson. A week after, the proposed ordinance was included in the agenda of the City Council. COLORS then mobilized its allies to build up an audience as a show of force to the council, giving them a feel that it was really bent on having the measure passed. The first hearing was an exciting moment. COLORS was mindful about how other legislators would react to the privilege speech and to the proposed legislation at large. “Amateurs in the legislative process, we were keen in observing the proceedings and we consistently asked the point person in the Technical Working Group (TWG) on the dynamics inside the floor and some unclear matters. When two city councilors posted their reservations, uncertainty came and posed as a challenge along the way,” said Robinson. “It was the first time that the LGBT community was leading the lobby to push for an ordinance in the city. We were not fully aware of the political dynamics that exist in legislative lobbying,” said Robinson. “We had to convince the council members that we were not making a special ordinance for the LGBT community, but that at the end of the day, it was an ordinance to combat discrimination being experienced by various vulnerable sectors,” she added. Early in January of 2012, the Committee on Laws reported that the proposed ordinance was on the agenda of the council and so COLORS was there to witness and learn from the proceedings. It learned that the proposed ordinance will be up in the agenda for the public hearing in the next session. The public hearing was attended by some key personalities within the LGBT community, academe, people with disabilities (PWD), Muslim organization and the women’s group and stated their acknowledgement for the need to pass the proposed ordinance. We were driven to push our local government to resolve the issue by making a law that prohibits discrimination and uphold human rights to all,” said Magdalena Robinson, President and Founder of COLORS. “
  • 79. 70| 128 Waiting for the next agenda, COLORS was advised to build its constituency in support of the proposed legislation. In an effort to gather supporters of the said ordinance, it conducted dialogues within the City Council for co-sponsors and procured statements of support from various stakeholders. It initiated a signature campaign in various sectors to ascertain more support. “We wanted our legislators to see that the people of Cebu City needed the measure. The efforts reaped five co-sponsors,” said Robinson. “This is the first ordinance to have six proponents,” said Councillor Alvin Dizon. Meanwhile, COLORS made sure that activities such as the Cebu LGBT Congress, the Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March, and International Day Against Homo, Bi and Transphobia (IDAHOT) supported the anti-discrimination ordinance. “It will be appropriate that we celebrate this year's International Human Rights Day with an anti- discrimination ordinance. We could be the first local government unit in the entire country to adopt such measure,” Dizon added. “We were quite anxious on what will be the council’s decision on our proposal. We felt that even for the last minute in the session hall we can still influence the legislators, so our organization came up with a campaign to wear sashes with messages of Equality and Non-discrimination during the session,” said Robinson. Emotions were high during the reading. When the presiding officer asked the body to approve or reject the said legislation, there was a moment of silence on floor, and the ambience felt by the supporters was of mixed emotions of wariness, anxiety and excitement. “We held our breaths till the moment were up and the presiding officer lifted and hit the gavel and said it was approved. The thrill was brought about the fact that earlier, two council members expressed their initial reservations towards the measure. With pride, the council members approved the ordinance unanimously. We stood up, clapped and thanked the council. Likelihood for the passage of the ordinance was high but we were not expecting an undivided vote,” said Robinson. Impact
  • 80. 71| 128 The passage of the Cebu City Anti-Discrimination Ordinance gained national recognition. News reached in social networking sites such as Facebook where COLORS received congratulatory messages from friends, supporters and allies and there were a lot of status messages of happiness, and sense of security and empowerment. Days after, some observed attitude change from some people. Marice, a transgender and resident of Cebu City shared her experience on an attitude change from a jeepney driver. “The radio played ‘mga tambay lang kami, sawa sa babae… (We are just bystanders, tired of women)’ and the driver turned it off because he saw me. I asked why he turned it off. He answered that there is this ordinance in Cebu on no discrimination towards people like me. He was right. I laughed. He was aware of the ordinance,” said Marice, transwoman and a Cebu City resident. The LGBT community in Cebu City felt optimistic in attaining an LGBT-friendly city. A sense of security, the reaffirmation of their human rights and achieving equality to all were the collective sentiments from our LGBT friends. “Upon the passage of Cebu city discrimination ordinance I feel like extending my wings flying high up in the sky. Our rights and our existence are protected and respected. It's an overwhelming feeling when people realize our existence. In this contemporary era of modern medicine, respect and love is what we need to live a happy and harmonious society,” said Carla, a noted Cebu City transwoman designer. “It makes me feel more way proud that I belong to the LGBT community for the fact that Cebu City recognizes our existence, the existence of the LGBT community. It cannot be denied that there are still slings of discrimination but having the ordinance makes me feel safer knowing that by heart and in mind Cebu City gives me an avenue to develop and become what I fully am. The ordinance is a stepping stone towards promoting an LGBT-friendly and tolerant environment,” said Carl, political science student. There was a wave of positive feedback from national news networks. In, Bemz Benedito, first Congressional nominee of Ladlad Partylist, was quoted “we laud the city council of Cebu for passing an ordinance that will protect the rights and uplift the dignity of LGBT Filipinos in the city. In the absence of a national law on anti-discrimination, piece meal legislation such as this one is a positive development to the struggle of LGBT Filipinos. Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño who welcomed this positive development said “LGBTs do not want nor claim additional ‘special’ or ‘additional rights’. All they want are the same rights as those of heterosexual persons that are denied – either by current laws or practices – basic civil, political, social and economic It was the first time that the LGBT community was leading the lobby to push for an ordinance in the city. We were not fully aware the political dynamics that exist in legislative lobbying,” said Robinson. “
  • 81. 72| 128 rights,” as quoted in More Challenges… After the city council approved the ordinance, the Cebu City Mayor signed it on November 16, 2012. It took effect on December 1, 2012. Despite its passage, COLORS received a discrimination report where two transwomen were refused to enter a bar in Cebu City on the grounds of the establishment’s ‘no cross-dressing’ policy. Since the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were in progress, COLORS encouraged and assured the assistance the transwomen who experienced discrimination in drafting a written report to the Commission of Human Rights office. COLORS released a statement Against Discrimination on Transwomen by Night Commercial Establishments in Cebu City and submitted a letter to the Cebu City mayor about the case to act and ensure full enforcement of the ordinance. In a separate incident, a recent case of discrimination was noted where two transwomen, student returnees were denied re -entry on the basis of the university’s men’s hair policy and student uniform. These ladies approached us for assistance in processing a written report to the Commission of Human Rights for documentation. “Yes, it was a milestone for us but there is still so much work to be done based on our dialogue with school administrators regarding the effect of the ordinance. Those who oppose the bill will have to be educated. We still have to do more work! The ordinance was passed but executing the ordinance is a different matter,” said Niel Kintanar, psychologist and LGBT advocate. “With the passing of the anti-discrimination ordinance I see a much more tolerant Cebu City. Different people will be given the opportunity to work, study, and live their life the way they are most comfortable with. I hope Cebu will have more programs that will encourage diversity. Perhaps cultural and artful shows and projects aimed to help present various opinions and points of view. And I hope the Philippines will now have an anti-discrimination bill implemented in the
  • 82. 73| 128 country,” said Jovelean Borces, Executive Director – Visayas and Mindanao of Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS). Aiming for public education to encourage utilization and influence attitude change, COLORS held information dissemination through seminars and forums within the community and other institutions to promote the ordinance. It continued to consistently monitor experiences of discrimination through documentation and reporting. Onward we go (Plans, Realizations, Hopes) “Having the anti-discrimination ordinance passed, our advocacy did not and does not end there. We had the opportunity to be invited to a training activity on development and implementation for advocacy plans in Aston Bogor, West Java on the first week of November 2012 sponsored by ISEAN-Hivos Program,” said Robinson. The training was very helpful in aligning COLORS’ advocacy work with its projects, especially when it again spearheaded the annual Cebu PRIDE Fiesta for 2012. Employing IHP’s advocacy strategies, COLORS partnered with the office of Councilor Dizon in conducting a multi-stakeholders forum on the implementation of the Cebu City Anti-Discrimination Ordinance (CCADO) in Educational institutions. The forum served as a venue in finding a middle ground when COLORS helped draft we help draft the IRR. Before COLORS attended trainings from IHP, it was random in pursuing its advocacy. It used an ad hoc approach in every activity and most of its decision making was treated without careful thought. COLORS was somehow unmethodical. When IHP came, it paved way for COLORS to persist formal registration. To qualify as partner of IHP, the organization has to be registered from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Not only did COLORS pursue SEC registration but also registration from the National Youth Commission (NYC). Not only IHP was influential with COLORS’ registration, COLORS began to be more orderly in its activities. It was seen during the Cebu PRIDE Fiesta 2012. There were success indicators for each activity. These activities were as follows: Faces of Discrimination Exhibit, Somewhere over the Rainbow: School For a on the LGBT Community and the CCADO, Rainbow Runway: the Advocacy Fashion Show, Multi-stakeholders media forum on the CCADO, Pride Parade, Lady Extraordinaire: a Pageant for Transwomen Equality Advocates, and Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Dialogue Series. Through IHP’s trainings, members of COLORS were confident and empowered in addressing transwomen issues. “I am convinced that this is just the beginning and that COLORS can make a lot With pride, the council members approved the ordinance unanimously. We stood up, clapped and thanked to the council. Likelihood for the passage of the ordinance was high but we were not expecting an undivided vote,” said Robinson. “
  • 83. 74| 128 of changes for Transwomen. COLORS will be known not because of its beautiful members, but because COLORS believe that transwomen were never ugly and always beautiful. Beautiful people deserve a happy world to live in,” said Eda Catabas, present Vice-President of COLORS. “It may be a single step towards change but yet it gives us hope and encouragement towards a better change in our society,” RC Velasquez, present Auditor of COLORS. “It helped me to reach out to the community and act freely without any worry. That’s all that I have wanted to be a strong person to stand on my own and now I’m even stronger cause I’ve learned to stand up for others,” said Mishka, a transwoman and resident of Cebu City. COLORS’ next steps include fora with religious leaders, a seat in the Anti- Discrimination Commission to represent the LGBT sector, complementary information dissemination activities within the city and use of IEC materials, the constant monitoring and documentation of discriminatory cases, replication of an anti- discrimination ordinance with other neighboring municipalities and provinces, lobbying for a national anti-discrimination measure in Congress, collaboration of other vulnerable groups in drafting the IRR, assisting LGBT individuals who experienced discrimination. “The experience made us more popular and also popularized our work. It created more allies with stakeholders in the government agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights, the Cebu City Police Department, Gender and Development Office, Sanggunian Kabataan. We also had a lot of exposure in the barangays and meet the LGBTs in the community. The social media played a big role in disseminating information to our community and other allies in advocacy in and out the country,” said Robinson. “We hope that in the next quarter or phase of the IHP will be our partner in these activities and to continue to strengthen our organization for us to successfully implement our projects. Along the way, we expect obstacles but still affirm our stance on equality and discrimination free towards an LGBT friendly society,” Robinson concluded.
  • 84. MALAYSIA at a glance
  • 85. 76| 128 The HIV epidemic in Malaysia is concentrated among key affected populations especially among injecting drug users (IDUs), female sex workers and the transgender population. There is also clear evidence based on operational research that the overlapping of injecting drug use and high risk sexual behavior is occurring which results in increased HIV infection between the different populations. In the earlier phase of the pandemic, IDU was the key driven factor. The implementation of harm reduction program since 2005 has reduced the number of HIV infections through sharing needles. In 2011 sexual transmission has superseded IDU as the main driven factor for the epidemic. Males continue to represent the majority (90%) of cumulative HIV cases in Malaysia. Amongst men, 48% acquired infection via injecting drug use and 47% through sexual transmission. Most HIV infections amongst women occurred mainly through heterosexual transmission (87%). While the infection among males is showing a significant decline beginning in 2003, the female infection rate is showing the opposite trend. Women and girls are increasingly getting infected with HIV and constitute around 21% of newly infected persons nationwide in 2011 compared to barely 5% ten years ago. According to the UNAIDS Global Report 2012, the incidence rate of HIV infection among adults 15-49 years old has decreased between 26% to 49% from 2001 to 2011. A size estimation study of sex workers in Malaysia estimated the population of sex workers in Malaysia to be 60,000 comprising of 40,000 female sex workers (FSW) and 20,000 transgender (TG). Sex workers account for approximately 0.6% of total reported cases or 611 of the 94,841 cases reported so far. In comparison to the large proportion of injecting drug users reported to be infected with HIV, the number of HIV cases reported among sex workers is quite small. However, this is taken as a gross underreporting of this population as sex workers will not necessarily identify themselves as such and may not come forward for treatment. Current studies also only involve female and transgender sex workers. As it is, the situation with male sex workers is currently largely unknown as they are often hard to identify. As such, they are left out of existing outreach and intervention programs. Under the existing classification in the HIV surveillance system, MSM are considered to be in the homosexual/bisexual category, and as of December 2011, there were 2,406 (2.5%) out of 94,841 cumulative number of HIV reported cases among this category. The current level of HIV testing among MSM is between 25 to 49%. Also, It is estimated that there are about 20,000 TG in this country19. TG are often stigmatized and discriminated by society. It was previously unknown as to how many cases of HIV were seen or estimated within this population. However, after a survey conducted with the Transgender community in 2009, a better picture has emerged of this population. From this survey, it was found that the population was experiencing a HIV prevalence of 9.7%. [International AIDS Society Fact Sheet 2013: HIV and AIDS in Malaysia]
  • 86. 77| 128 walked down that long hallway to meet my friend whom I knew for a long time. This was our first meeting. I am feeling excited and happy because before this, we just saw each other through webcam. I sincerely have zero knowledge about HIV, AIDS and safe sex. Everything is forgotten because I was too excited to meet him. Earlier on, I asked my friend, what should I do if we do meet? He listed all the items that I should bring for the date. My friend told me in detail what I should do and what I should bring during the date? “I named my condom ‘Camouflage’, because nobody would see me ‘Cumming’. Of course, I realized I had a good sense of humor…” Singalang Charity Association (SCHA) — Sarawak
  • 87. 78| 128 How do I describe this guy? He is quite handsome with a beautiful sculptured body. He is very caring. I, on the other hand, never asked him about anything regarding his past. What I know in my mind is that he is gorgeous. One Saturday morning, I woke up early at 7 A.M, excited to meet him. I started my day happily, getting myself ready for our first rendezvous. Rushing, I packed all my belongings and set off. I went for the date at the park where he fetched me and we went off from there. We went to watch a movie and he bought me a new cell-phone, which I think every teenager will be happy about. I started to forget what my friend had told me about safe sex. I didn’t care anymore about that because I started to fall for him. After a nice day out, it was almost 10 PM. I knew he would invite me to sleep over at his house (that’s why I packed all my important belongings!) How stupid I was... thinking that I know everything about safe sex. After that sleepover, every time we met, I would kiss him on his cheek. He was so romantic. We were already a couple. My partner was actually HIV-Positive when we met. I never knew about it until I accidentally read his diary. Thinking positive, all I care about is that I loved him with all my heart. That was what’s important. That night I decided to have unprotected sex. I did ask him to use condom to be safe and he said, “Why do you need to use condoms? Using condom is sometimes tedious and boring and lacks the spontaneity that puts the "zip" in any relationships.” We took the risk, thinking it’s worth it. We had never seen a porn star wearing a condom for fellatio. We also never allowed the act to complete in order not to exchange any body fluids. I was on top of the world. We had so much fun. When I reached my home, my friend asked me to join one organization in my area. They deal with safe sex, HIV and AIDS. So both, my partner and I attended that program. That was the first time I was introduced to safe sex. I was in a group discussion about sex and I was asked to participate in a game where I had to name a condom. It was uncomfortable but amazing to be able to have a dialogue about something that was never really discussed earlier in my sex life. At the age of 21, I decided to come out as gay, informing all my family and friends. I revealed the news to my friends and family without asking for their approval. If there was anyone who cannot accept my sexuality, I took the power of the conversation and said to everyone of them that if they couldn’t or wouldn’t still love me, then I would prefer them to not be in my life. It was hard, I must admit. But that was how I felt. Time flies so fast, it was almost 2 years since we became partners and on that particular day, I was so sad and felt so empty due to our relationship. He started Having a condom is not a criminal offence and the police cannot charge them and force them to pay.” “
  • 88. 79| 128 behaving aggressively towards me and looking very depressed due to his illness. I have tried everything to make him calm, yet he is still angry with life and finally he asked for a break-up. I was speechless right then and there… And I wonder why he has to take that action? There was a need for a talk. There was still a lot of way to settle it. “I know you suffered too much because your illness, but why do you need to go far from me as I can be next to you…” I said to him softly. He wouldn’t listen. Finally he ran away and left me behind without any words. It has been 2 years after the incident. I voluntarily went for an HIV screening test at the clinic. Finally, it was the day that will change my life. I did it alone, accompanied by nervousness plus worried feelings. The doctor gave me a letter which contained the result of the HIV test. My hand was shaking while opening the envelope. I can still feel tears running on my face. It stated that I am HIV positive. I remember using condom each time I was with him, the only one that I love. How could this happen? I was so scared and depressed. For days I was confined in my room. I was so scared and confused for long period of time and I did not remember feeling hungry at all. It was as if the end of my life. I had no one to talk to. Upon hearing my name being called, I woke up from this terrible dream; it was my mother who was calling my name. They drove me to the hospital and I wonder how they found out. I was confined in my room for a long time, feeling embarrassed at the same time. I was slapped by reality right on my face. I started joining organizations that concerned with people who live with HIV. The words that I heard when I got my test results - “It is a reactive” - still remain ingrained in my memory. It was very ironic how four simple words could literally take the breath out of me, even though I had prepared for the possibility of this news for over three-and-a-half weeks. You see, I had been very active in local HIV awareness campaigns. I had become one of the community members, in a very visible campaign, educating others about safe sex. But the message did not seem to affect me personally. I thought I was invincible and now I am infected. I felt that I was alone, not knowing even one person who was HIV positive. I felt scared and I didn’t want to die. So, I made a decision that I would not allow myself to go back “in the closet” because of my status. With this determination and personal decision not to remain silent about my status, I wondered what it would be like for others to actually hear the words from the hospital staff that I was either positive or negative. So, I armed myself with my phone camera and documented the long walk from my car to the actual clinic, keeping the recording going in my pocket. You see, I had been very active in local HIV awareness campaigns. I had become one of the community members, in a very visible campaign, educating others about safe sex. But the message did not seem to affect me personally. I thought I was invincible and now I am infected.” “
  • 89. 80| 128 This was really important for me documenting and recording the experience that other people fear or refuse to really consider. If I heard the news that I was HIV positive, I wanted to both educate and make real the process others have, will or, hopefully, won’t go through. So, now I am active with the society in order to help and to bring them to the right place so that they know there is an organization which is concerned with their problems. To conclude, my story on how I get this HIV infection is when I realized that I did get the virus from my partner. I had been having sex without using any protection, not the "go for the tonsils" kind of thing! I am sharing my story because I see, hear and read so much misinformation about HIV infection and transmission. All the while, I realize that I am alive today because of the antiretroviral medications which were not available to the many friends I lost in the past. Apart from that I also want those teenagers out there, who never know about safe sex and HIV infection, should have the knowledge before go beyond with this kind of life. “Life can never be as good as before, be empowered by knowledge you have…”
  • 90. 81| 128 I t was 3.30 am when I received a call “Akak, please help. We are being arrested because we carry condoms. There are four of us” Epol sounded panicked. “Okay, are they taking you to the police station? Please text me which station” I replied. Gosh!!! My sweet dreams were interrupted and I immediately texted Chitrah from LAC (Legal Aids Center) to inform her about the arrest. They were four transgenders from Indonesia and they had been arrested for carrying condoms. Then at 7.00 am, I received another call from Epol telling me that they have discharged after paying RM1,000 for having a condom. I told Epol that having a condom is not a criminal offence and you cannot be charged or fined by the police. LEGALLY TG Pertubuhan Advokasi Masyarakat Terpinggir (PAMT) — Kuala Lumpur “We need to do something about this condom possession issue.”
  • 91. 82| 128 The Behaviour Change Communications and the Peer Outreach Training conducted by the ISEAN-Hivos Program (IHP) has motivated me and Lydia to gather information from our clients. During the BCC (Behavior Change Communication) training that we attended, we have learned about “Risk Behavior” and “Why Risk Behavior”. We found out that the risk factors among our clients (the sex workers community) is not engaging in safer sex. And the reason our clients do not carry condoms with them is because of the fine of RM1,000 imposed by the police when apprehended. The next 2 days I went for an outreach in Klang. Together with Lydia Rohaizad and Malini from Malaysia Aids Council (MAC), we decided to meet Epol and our clients at Jalan Goh Huat, Klang focusing on the arrest and the issue of having condoms with them. We were surprised that most of our clients had been charged RM1,000 by the police just because of possessing a condom at their time of arrest. “Yes, kak, I was fined RM1,000 for each condom!” Nithya claimed. From the discussion and information gathered, I made the assumption that the sex worker community has very low information related to Legal and Human Rights. The need of legal session is there to help them understand the basic legal information. I told Lydia “We need to do something about this condom possession issue!” “That’s right, Jane” reply Kak Lydia and continue “I don’t know how to make a proposal. Why don’t you do it, Jane.” I asked Malini if MAC has some funds for the session and I was told to write a proposal, “Jane, you do the proposal and email it to me,” Malini replied. Before I can proceed with my proposal to Malini, I needed to inform the PAMT Exco members of my intention to conduct the Legal Awareness Session in Klang. I have to get the Exco’s approval and to do so, I have to make them understand why we need to do such session and present to them with my evidence. The Exco members approved and liked my idea. We had a meeting related to the sessions as this is the first time that PAMT would be conducting a Legal Session in Klang. During the meeting, we identified the program, the coordinator, the job distribution, the venue as well as the budget.
  • 92. 83| 128 After identifying the venue, I did the proposal and MAC granted a small fund for the Session. Within 2 weeks; after the hard work, the calling, the meeting, the dreams of conducting the session became a reality. Two days before the session, I went to Klang and informed our clients about the session to get their support. The Legal Awareness Session was held at Family Hotel, Kelang. At first we targeted around 25 clients for this session. Based on our experience, it is difficult to gather sex workers as most of them will be sleeping during the day and working at night. Surprisingly, 45 clients turned up for the activity. The participants are sex workers from Klang (Jalan Goh Huat) comprising transgenders and females. The clients that came are mostly Indian, Malay, and also migrants from India and Indonesia, aged between 19 to 50 years old. Before we started the session, we conducted a pre-test regarding the basic legal knowledge among the participants and the result shows that most of the client have a very low knowledge regarding their rights. (10 got a score of zero on knowledge about rights, and 25 got low scores). The session was opened by Chitrah. She started the ball rolling by doing a role play. The role play is about an arrest, what happened in the lockup and the abuse of power by the police. Then she introduced Mages. He is a lawyer and he led the sessions by telling the participants what they should do when a policeman stop them - basic information with regards of bail, lock up, prison, etc. During the session, there are a lot of question by the participants, mostly are about condom possession, as most of the them had been arrested of having condom and was charged around RM1,000 for each condom in their possession. This makes them afraid of having condom in their hand. They were shocked when the lawyer told them, “Having a condom is not a criminal offence and the police cannot charge them and force them to pay” He then continued, “Next time if the police arrested you for having a condom, tell the police that you want to call your Lawyer from LAC.” The session ended around 5.00 pm. Before ending the session, a post-test has been conducted and the results shown that after the session, there was a significant increase in their knowledge on the topic. Most of them could answer the questions correctly, though few still have low knowledge of their rights. The participants suggested that PAMT should conduct the same session in the future. They also suggested PAMT to have a discussion with the police in regards to gangster issues and condom possessions. All the participants was satisfied and happy with the session as they now know what their basic legal rights are and they know where they can turn to when The Behavior Change Communications and the Peer Outreach Training Conducted by the ISEAN-Hivos Program (IHP) has motivated me and Lydia to gather information from our clients. “
  • 93. 84| 128 they need legal help. “Now we can tell the police that carrying a condom is not a criminal offense and we cannot be charged just because of it,” Epol said. The other Indonesian Transgenders also agreed. A few weeks after the session, I felt very happy as we found out that our clients are not afraid of carrying condom anymore. They even challenged the police when they were asked about the condom. They have engaged a lawyer from Legal Aids Center for help. In January, during a police raid, 8 sex workers were caught. They were taken to Kapar Police Station. They told the police that having condoms is not a crime and agreed that there no need to pay for the possession of condoms. They even told the police that they wanted to call to LAC and they we discharged the next morning. This is already a victory for us but the challenge continues.
  • 94. 85| 128 F or a very long time Emma has been living as a Mak Nyah (transgender). She was always sneered at by other people. They would shout at her on the street, “HEY…!!! Kiamat dah dekat, ke??? WEYY…. PONDAN LALU WEY...!!!” (Hey!!!! Is the end of the world nearing? The transgender is passing!). As a Mak Nyah, Emma had to live with these harsh words. Not only with the constant harassments. Emma was also accused of being a “pariah”. Even though her way of life does not follow what is deemed as ‘normal’ by the society, Emma felt that she did not deserve being scorned by anyone. However, on some occasions, she also receives compliments from others. There were even some of them who would say, ”WOOWW!!! PRETTY, MAN...” But not everyone can accept a Mak Nyah like her. MEET EMMA “What is my fault? I also have the right to live in this world... just like other people.” Family Health Association (FHA) — Kedah
  • 95. 86| 128 With a series of stigmatizing experience that she had, Emma started attending activities for Mak Nyahs. From these activities, she learned a lot. One of these is how to handle the situation when people looked down on her. She also gained knowledge on HIV and AIDS and also on VCT. Through these learnings, she imparts information to all of her friends and other Mak Nyahs. Emma has also been interviewed by the media regarding the way she is perceived by the society. She is thankful with all the knowledge that she had obtained while undergoing various training sessions organized by the ISEAN-Hivos Program and other NGOs. At last, Emma can take the lead in movement of reducing stigma and educate her surroundings on the fight against discrimination towards transgender people in Kedah. At last, Emma can take the lead in movement of reducing stigma and educate her surroundings on the fight against discrimination toward transgender people in Kedah.” “
  • 96. 87| 128 I am a vice-chairperson of KL Light. My name is Travis Chung. I am also one of the founders of KL Light. I am a 4th generation Chinese-Malaysian living in Malaysia. I have been doing voluntary work as a full time helper in church after I graduated my (Hons) Bachelor in Human Resource Management and Marketing at Middlesex University of Hendon, London. I felt so blessed because I know ISEAN-Hivos from Dr. Zaki (Malaysian AIDS Council). I and another founder called Joe Pang decided to meet Oliver, the ISEAN-Hivos Program Manager in February 2013. After I have joined the ISEAN-Hivos Program, I feel my life has changed for the better and more caring to the society especially the minority community. My network is getting bigger as I get to know more people from other CBOs (Community Based Organization). I met many Malay and Indian friends through the ISEAN-Hivos Program. We all work out together to improve the health and well being of “I have learned to respect them regardless of their race, religion and sexual orientation… “ THE FUTURE OF CHINESE MSM KL Light
  • 97. 88| 128 those belonging to the most at risk populations. This is the first time I have experienced the diversity and the differences among community members. I feel disappointed that as the minority, the community member are always being oppressed and discriminated against by the society in Malaysia. I have decided to advocate towards a society with zero stigma and discrimination among members of the minority. This is the greatest impact in my life, which is becoming more sensitive to HIV and STI concerns that face the most at risk populations. The strategic planning training conducted by the ISEAN-Hivos Program is really useful to me from the point of view of setting up and strengthening our “Chinese MSM Care CBO” which focuses on health promotion. Chinese MSM Care CBO is part of KL Light. It is an organization concerned with the health and human rights of the Chinese Community. At the moment, the Board of Directors is more focused on the Chinese community because there are still not a lot of Chinese-language materials available in Malaysia. Our plan is to extend coverage to the Malay, Indian and other races in the future. We are happy to see the harmony and the well-being of society through KL Light. We decided to set up the Chinese MSM Care CBO which cares for gay men in Malaysia. It is because there are still many Chinese gay men who received inadequate information on HIV/STI. From the research of the Ministry of Health’s person-in-charge for the Selangor Region, 50 percent of gay men infected by HIV through sexual transmission are Chinese gay men. It is good for me to attend the ISEAN-Hivos POWER (Peer Outreach Worker) training because we acquired counseling skills to help Chinese gay men through BCC (Behavior Change Communication). This is also KL Light’s contribution towards reducing the HIV rate in Malaysia among the most at risk populations. We learned through our research and interviews that Chinese gay men have common misconceptions, such as: 1. HIV can be transmitted through Saliva. 2. The “top” will not be infected by HIV even he doesn’t wear a condom. 3. Being infected by HIV is the “end of the world”. Many local Chinese gay men still refuse to get HIV testing. The Chinese MSM Care CBO provide support to encourage more Chinese gay men to take an HIV test. We will continue doing our advocacy with the Chinese gay men in Malaysia in order to help this community reduce HIV infection by 2015. Chinese MSM Care CBO provides support for Chinese gay men to take an HIV test.” “
  • 98. 89| 128 I have just started knowing this new world, a world that is fun and full of phantasm. From there, I learned how to beautify myself. After finishing school, I begin to venture into the dark alleys. I made a choice to become a sex worker without knowing the importance of condom use. As well as giving services to men, I started using a synthetic drug called Shabu or methamphetamine. I also use alcohol. I was caught by the police in a drug-related case. When arrested, my urine sample was tested and it was positive for drugs. I was sent to prison for six months. This is where I did my HIV testing, a mandatory testing for all incarcerated people in Malaysia. When the blood test result came out, it was confirmed that I was POSITIVE! Feelings of anger, vengeance, depression and other negative thoughts became my companions. “Now I feel relieved and thankful with what I am able to do for my community. I am getting healthy and have adopted a more harmonious life.” ME THEN AND NOW Cahaya Harapan
  • 99. 90| 128 When I was released, I still continued with my life in the dark alley. I still had “fun” without using condoms, not thinking about my life at all. Hope seemed to have left me. I began to hate the life that I had to go through. Am I such a cruel person that I need to be punished? I also want to live like any other person. Give me the shining light of life…. One day, I fell really ill and was hospitalized. I was confirmed to be in a critical condition. My CD4 count was only 15. That was such a scary thing to hear. Alhamdulillah (Thank God), with the support from Peer Support Workers, I began my healing process and started removing anger, vengefulness, depression and other negative feelings. Now I am participating in a lot of programs with various NGOs. I also work as an outreach volunteer/peer support in the hospital for people living with HIV. Now, I feel relieved and thankful with what I am able to do for my community. I am getting healthy and have adopted a more harmonious life. Give me a the shining light of life ,” a transgender in Kedah. “
  • 100. 91| 128 S he is a transgender. She left home at the tender age of 14 and with no choice given to her. She ended becoming a sex worker. She is Zai. For more than 20 years, sex work is the only life she knows. As she grew older, she felt the need to find another job – a stable job with a monthly fixed income. Leaving her current work was always at the back of her mind. Zai finally found a job as a staff in the housekeeping department at a hotel in Seremban. However, she still does sex work on the side. Usually she does it during her day off. Unlike before, she is now feeling more ready for any result because Moon had given her the information and support she needs. MIRROR MIRROR Pertubuhan Advokasi Masyarakat Terpinggir (PAMT) — Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor
  • 101. 92| 128 One day, while she was in a hawker stall, she was approached by an outreach worker from the Pertubuhan Advokasi Masyarakat Terpinggir (PAMT) named Moon. Moon was there to share information about HIV and STI prevention. She was also handing out pamphlets and condoms to sex workers- both transgender and females. Moon took the initiative to share her own story to Zai and her friends. As an HIV- positive transgender, Moon dedicated her life to reaching out and educating other sex workers. Moon’s story moved Zai and her friends. Zai started to ask more information about Voluntary Counselling Testing (VCT). This is not the first time she met an outreach worker and hear about STI and HIV. But she never felt comfortable with them. Moon is different. She was such an open book, especially about her own status. That struck Zai. Feeling that she could trust Moon, Zai started to consider undergoing VCT as well. A month later, Zai decided to go on a full medical check-up. She went to a clinic in Seremban. Three days later, she received a call from the doctor. “Zai, this is a big case. Can you come now?” Zai panicked. From the way the doctor said, it sounds like something very serious had came up. So, Zai rushed to the clinic to meet the doctor. As soon as she got there, the doctor told her, “Zai, you are HIV-positive.” – Zai gasped. It was something that she was not prepared to hear. She expressed her disbelief, but the doctor lightly said, “If you don’t believe me, you can go to another clinic to confirm. ”Zai was mortified. She didn’t know what to do. She called Moon only a few months later. She asked Moon to accompany her to go to Tuanku Ja’far Hospital in Seremban. She wanted to re-confirm her HIV status. Moon and Selvi took her to the hospital in Seremban. Zai, once again, took the HIV test. This time, she had the pre-test counseling done by the nurse. After having her blood drawn, a nurse suddenly shouted at her, “You did the HIV test, right? The result will come out in two weeks’ time!” Everyone in that room turned their heads to Zai. It was quite a humiliating moment for her. At that time, Moon and Selvi had decided to meet Dr. James for networking in the same hospital. They wanted to have a formal agreement with the hospital, so that they can refer clients and have visitation authorization to the People Living with HIV (PLHIV) ward. They also plan to form a support group for the PLHIV community. They took that opportunity to complain about the attitude of the nurse but the doctor did nothing as he is merely a volunteer doctor. After having her blood drawn, a nurse suddenly shouted at her, “You did the HIV test, right?” The result will come out in two weeks’ time!” Everyone in that room turned their heads to Zai. It was quite a humiliating moment for her.
  • 102. 93| 128 How many clients can you refer to this hospital?” “ The stigma around HIV and AIDS is still very high in that hospital. The doctor then asked them, “How many clients can you refer to this hospital?” Apparently the doctor was afraid that too many clients may use up his treatment budget. He was asking for a formal reference letter from PAMT because he wanted to have the answers if the management of the hospital asked him about the sudden increase of HIV cases. Selvi and Moon told the doctor that PAMT can refer ten clients per month. The doctor seemed to be excited. As for Zai, she is still waiting for her result. Unlike before, she is now feeling more ready for any result because Moon had given her the information and support she needs. Moon does not have any counseling degree nor any qualification as a Counselor. Her knowledge and her skills came from her participation in the ISEAN- Hivos Program (IHP) through the training on Behavior Change Communication (BCC) and Outreach Training. The skills that she learned gave her the empowerment to handle cases and help more people like Zai.
  • 103. 94| 128 I am Ayu, a Transgender (TG) aged 38 years old. “Monster” … that is the name that has always been thrown at me for a long time. I am not a native of Kuantan where I am now. I moved out of my home in Indonesia in my early teens because I wanted to make a living to support my family’s needs in the village. I migrated with a few of my friends to Malaysia. In the beginning, I worked for a man called Marwan. My work is to be his companion whereby my life was full of fun and happiness. Furthermore, Marwan could afford everything I need – expensive clothes, latest accessories, and current beauty treatment. I was living like a queen.’ “Namun langit tidak selalunya cerah, hidup tidak selalunya indah.” (Life can be full of surprises, sometimes that can be negative.) This is what I always hear from my friends whom I thought was envious of my life. “My road is not ending. For me, my journey is not yet over....” Komited Malaysia — Pahang
  • 104. 95| 128 After three years together, Marwan suddenly had a change of heart without any reason. It’s like as if I was struck by lightning. I realized that he is a man that could have anything that he wanted. I was left alone. My words fell on deaf ears. I was stressed out and suffered depression until I have to get psychological treatment. For me, the treatment did not do anything. Day after day, my condition became worse. The food that I take felt like sharp thorns. I ended up going back to my village in Indonesia after being persuaded by Amy, a friend of mine. Arriving back in the village, I went down memory lane with my family and enjoyed the atmosphere that I was used to – tranquility. All the stress that I have been going through slipped away from my body little by little. My shoulders felt light. I do not know why. My family, whom are really traditional in their mentality, brought me to a few “dukun” (traditional healer). I personally do not believe in ”dukun”, but what is clear is that I have the support and love from my family. This is already a cure in itself. As soon as I felt better, I decided to meet with the supervisor of YAYASAN INSAN. This organization is where I received my much needed counseling and healing. I was introduced to a few peers and was able to share with them my story. With my new found friends, I started to realize that there are others who are less fortunate than me. I began to gather the strength I need to regain my life. With a small amount of money from my savings, I made a decision to go back to Malaysia to try and earn my living. A person from my village who worked in Johor Bahru invited me to come and start my new life there. Bringing with me the hopes and support of my family, I boarded the airplane directly to Johor where my friend waited. I landed a job at a beauty-related business. But after some time, I started to experience difficulty in making ends meet due to the lack of customers. I started to think about getting a side line to augment my income. I needed money for my daily needs, rent and also to be able to send money to my family back in the village. I was introduced to another friend. He offered me to become a sex worker. Even though it was not my preference, I had no other choice but to become one to survive. After being in Johor for about a year, my friends and I made a pact and moved to Kuantan. The high standard of living in Johor was our main excuse to leave the city. We ended in Kuantan. Mak Luna, a gatekeeper or Mak Ayam in Kuantan was waiting for me and my friends when we arrived. Mak Luna invited us to her place. In the beginning I was excited and happy because there are a lot of friends from Indonesia. I shared a room with Rita. Every night we would go down from our rented room and stand on the streets waiting for My family, whom are really traditional in their mentality, brought me to a few “dukun”. I, myself, personally does not believe in “dukun”, but what is clear is that I have the support and love from my family, which is a cure by itself. “
  • 105. 96| 128 clients. So, that’s how life went. Day in, day out for 10 years. It was too long. I lost count of the days. It has been a long time since I arrived here. Working as a transgender (TG) sex worker in Kuantan give me some benefits, compared to working in Johor. My friends and I were kept well by Mak Luna. The alley where we solicit clients are well monitored to avoid any bad situation from happening to us. People like us are always harassed by gangsters. I, myself, have been hit by them. I don’t understand why people like me always become the prey of others. We are always being chased by higher authorities. I feel sad whenever I think about the injustice we experience everyday. But what can I do? For Mak Nyahs like me, nobody would care. They would not want to give us jobs that are suitable for us. They do not even want to be friends with us. If there is choice, none of us would want to work like this. But what can I do? This is the only work that I know. Mak Luna helped me a lot during these low times. She took care of me when I was sick. From what I can see, my other female sex workers friends also experience the same situation like me. But none of us dare to get treatment from hospitals, nor do we dare to report the violence we experience to the police. One quiet night, two women came over and introduced themselves as outreach workers from Komited Malaysia (KM). Apparently they were there to provide information about reproductive health and HIV. I have heard about HIV and AIDS. For me it is a disease that is scary and can kill. I felt crept out. The two outreach workers invited me to join a meeting at one of their Drop-In-Centers (DIC), the Persona Grata Wanita, in Lorong Wong Ah Jang. This meeting was gathering from those in the marginalized groups to meet each other and share support. From then on, I feel more and more comfortable to just drop by the DIC to get free condoms and sometimes just chatting with those who worked there. From the centre, I acquired information regarding safer sex including the correct way of using condoms. Honestly, I have never done any HIV testing even though I had been a sex worker for years without using condoms. I am worried. One of the workers, Angah, used to tell and share with me information and the experiences of people living with HIV (PLHIV). My meeting with Angah changed my perception towards Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT). I started to realize that I am at risk. I eventually gathered enough courage to do VCT. “The test result shows that you are HIV positive..,” said the Medical Officer that did the VCT on me. “My hunch is correct..,” I said to myself. In my mind all I can think of is to get to Angah as soon as possible. I am scared... worried and the only thing that I can think of at that time is DEATH! But what can I do? For Mak Nyahs like me, nobody would care …. If there is choice, none of us would want to work like this. But what can I do? This is the only work that I know.” “
  • 106. 97| 128 My life changed when I met Angah again. Looking at her healthy physical appearance made me think of all the information related to HIV that she shared with me. Angah gave me the support and knowledge to improve my well-being. Angah told me about IHP (ISEAN-Hivos Program). According to her, IHP is a specific program that helps the transgender community like me, to be empowered against HIV. Through Angah, I began to practice a more healthy lifestyle. I cannot be selfish. I have to have safer sex with my partners. My self-confidence improved and I knew that I need to help the community who are in the same boat as I am. My hope is that the knowledge regarding HIV and AIDS can be further spread out so that others would not be infected with the virus. Thank you to those who gave me the spirit to continue on with my life. Through Angah, I began to practice a more healthy lifestyle. I cannot be selfish. I have to have safer sex with my partners.” “
  • 107. 98| 128 I finished my studies back in 2012 in the field of Healthcare Management. It is my natural interest to serve the community and get to know them more closely regardless of their background. “This field is not easy. It needs a passionate heart. One that is strong enough to go through it….” That is what my lecturer, Mr Suhaimi said which became the valuable words of wisdom that I still hold up to today. My first experience in the field was when I was doing my practicum during the last year of my study in Rumah Sinar Salam, Lorong Haji Taib, Kuala Lumpur. Rumah Sinar Salam is a shelter home for those who are homeless and less fortunate. I learnt the meaning of life where it means a lot for the people living here. But it was just for a moment. The practicum ended after a month. The feeling of trying to gain knowledge to help the society is burning inside my heart. I kept on searching for the way that I would follow with strong convictions. “This field is not easy. It needs a passionate heart. One that is strong enough to go through it….” IT ALL BEGINS HERE Family Health Association (FHA) — Kedah
  • 108. 99| 128 A chance was given to me to be able to offer my services with the Kedah Family Health Association (Kedah FHA). Just like a child in a candy store, I accepted the offer with a happy heart that is full of commitment. “Even though Mauwal has no experience, we in FHA Kedah wants to take on Mauwal as the State Manager.” The position offered to me by Tengku Farris, the Chairman of FHA Kedah was a recognition of my efforts which was very meaningful to me. I reported to work for my first day on 21 January 2013. Feeling the nervousness, I stepped into an old double-storey building that looked like it has been around more than 50 years old. Intan, the ex-State Manager introduced me to all of the staff in FHA Kedah who happen to be there that morning. Kak Siti, Wanie and Pak Cik Elyas were among them. In this old building, there are two rooms on the ground floor. One of them was converted into a treatment room while the other one was being used as a pantry. Apart from those rooms, there was also a meeting room located at the back of the building. Upstairs there were five rooms. These were rented out to female tenants to generate income. I was placed in a corner that is opposite to the main entrance and the registration counter manned by Kak Siti and Wanie. In that corner, there was a table with an old computer, a printer and some books and other files. I did not know where and how to start. What I was able to do was to ask Intan if I have questions. “It’s up to you Mauwal, just do what you think you should do.” That is all what Intan said to me. I started to learn bit by bit about FHA Kedah. In the beginning of its establishment, FHA Kedah only focused on Family Planning where the method used is pregnancy spacing. The methods used for this are using condoms, IUCD (intra-urine control device), implant-on and medicines. FHA Kedah historically is an organization that was established in 1961 by Tun Siti Hasmah, the wife of the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Mahathir. After 52 years, FHA Kedah now has a committee that is comprised of a President, a Chairperson and 10 Executive Committee (ExCo) Members. All of our committee members have other permanent jobs. As the State Manager, I am fully responsible for the operations, financial, welfare and others. With what I have, I tried my best to shoulder those responsibilities. But I also realized that I’m still lacking in my own knowledge in terms of the ins and outs of an organization and community. After working for 3 months in FHA Kedah, I received a phone call from someone who introduces himself as someone from IHP. He invited me to join in a 4-day course in Kuala Lumpur, but what is IHP? That was the question playing in my mind. With an empty mind, Tengku Maheran, an ExCo member of FHA Kedah, and I went to Kuala Lumpur full of curiosity. On the first day of training named the “Strategic Planning For Local CBOs” was the first time I met with other participants who comes from all types of communities. It was also the first time I was exposed to the MSM, TG and also People Living with HIV (PLHIV), making me closer to them, especially the MSM and TG communities. MSM means men who have sex with men, while TG are men or women who are born with the sense of being born in the wrong body or Mak Nyah (for male It’s up to you Mauwal, just do what you think you should do.” “
  • 109. 100| 128 to female TG) in Malay language. I started to understand more on their backgrounds. With the feeling of curiosity inside of me, I started to learn more about the communities. From there I realized that they are also a part of society. Through the training that was conducted, I began to understand more in just one week. I also attended a course titled “Monitoring and Documentation and E-Library”. From their inputs on management and establishment of an organization, I realize that it is not easy to start-up an organization. How much more to manage and build the capacity of an organization once it has started. IHP is the acronym for ISEAN-Hivos Program. Their trainings gave me the chance to gain more knowledge in many aspects. We also shared our experience about the challenges and also efforts that can be done to solve the problems. With the knowledge that I have gained, I feel more self-confident in upholding my responsibilities as the State Manager of FHA Kedah and it is like a stepping stone for me to enhance my career. After a few months, I was again being invited to join another course that was organized by IHP in Kuala Lumpur. This training again opened my eyes about organizational management. During the E-Library training, we were taught how to download and share information on FHA Kedah and other Community Based Organization (CBO)s through the website that was provided. For me, this is my personal achievement during my tenure with FHA Kedah as I was able to introduce FH Kedah not only nationally but also internationally. This is because IHP is a regional MSM and TG network that comprises other South East Asian countries which are the Philippines, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Singapore and Brunei. IHP worked hard in helping to reduce the infection rate of HIV especially among the MSM and TG community. In my opinion, this is important for FHA Kedah because it relates to the services that we offer. According to the information given by the MSM and TG community based on the discussion that was done together, there seems to be a lack of knowledge regarding their health. They also hope that if they needed peer support if ever they were infected that they could received counseling that would provide information on treatment option and how to seek doctor’s advice from the local government hospital. The response from the MSM and TG communities were tremendous. I hope that this program can be continued because I know there are a lot more out there that needs the exposure and knowledge. This certainly gives me a new passion to serve the community. With the knowledge that I have gained, I feel more self-confident in upholding my responsibilities as the State Manager of FHA Kedah and it is like a stepping stone for me to enhance my career.” “
  • 110. 101| 128 VISIONGWL-INA aims for gay, transgender and MSM communities and individuals who are able to conduct prevention, treatment, care and support of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS through health, sexual welfare and sexual reproductive rights approaches.
  • 111. 102| 128 GWL-INA GWL-INA is a network of gay, MSM and Transgender (TG) in Indonesia. Formed on 4th of February 2007 in Surabaya, GWL-INA has been developed dynamically and earlier was supported by Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations Inc. (AFAO), Burnet Indonesia and GAYa NUSANTARA. Currently the National Secretariat of GWL-INA is responsible for:  Strengthening the institutional capacity of GWL-INA network.  Strengthening the secretarial capacity of the national network of GWL-INA.  Scaling up and enhancing the communication and coordination with network members through mailing list; also with its Board Members through emails.  Scaling up and enhancing the communication and coordination with stakeholders and donor agencies through attending various HIV prevention program coordination meeting at the national level.  Creating Terms of Reference and proposals to donors for capacity building needs. Mission To strengthen and mobilize organizations and GWL communities in order to enable programs implementation on prevention, treatment, care and support of STIs, HIV and AIDS within the framework of health, welfare and sexual reproductive health rights. To develop and maintain good communication and cooperation between organization and community of GWL as well as with other stakeholders in order to achieve the fulfillment of health, welfare and sexual reproductive rights needs. To coordinate advocacy works toward the optimum achievement of health and sexual welfare as well as reproductive rights including STIs, HIV and AIDS within the community of GWL. GWL-INA Gaya Warna Lentera Indonesia formerly: Gay, Waria, Lelaki seks dengan Lelaki Indonesia GWL – INA Secretariat Jl. Tebet Dalam 1 No. 33, Jakarta Selatan Indonesia 12810 T. +622183704682
  • 112. 103| 128 GAYLAM Gaylam Lampung is an NGO works in the field of community’s empowerment on sexual reproductive health and rights; and HIV prevention for themselves, their community and environment. Gaylam Lampung was founded on October 9, 2009 in Bandar Lampung. As a manifestation of community awareness towards human rights and prevention of HIV. Today Gaylam has formed satellite communities in: South Lampung, Central Lampung, North Lampung, Pringsewu/ Tanggamus and Metro. Vision “To be a central for empowered GWL community in the province of Lampung” Missions “To improve GWL community’s capacity, and awareness towards sexual and reproductive health and rights for themselves and the community.” Contact: Bandar Lampung, Indonesia 0721-241148 GAYALENTERAMUDA(GAYLAM) GAYA LAROS Vision The creation of a Healthy and Dynamic Social Order for GWL community in Banyuwangi Missions Conduct a joint learning and raise public awareness in the field of health, education, socio-economic, Human Rights; and Develop media for communicating and social networking; includes Building partnerships with other organizations in accordance with Gaya Laros’ vision. Organizational Values Anti Violence, Anti Stigma and Discrimination, Solidarity, Democracy, Decentralization; and Transparency Objectives Facilitate GWL community to better understand sexual reproductive health. Empowerment and creativity development of GWL community in various productive sectors. Program Synergy with other stakeholders. Contact: Banyuwangi, Indonesia 0333-8904882-00 GAYALAREOSING(GAYALAROS)
  • 113. 104| 128 GAYA PATRIOT Gaya Patriot Bekasi is an NGO working on advisory services and provide sup- port to the whole society particularly GWL community, against the risk of STI transmission and prevention of HIV in West Java. Founded on April 2, 2011. The Founder wished that the institu- tion can be beneficial to improve the people's welfare and to provide care, support for any HIV related issues. Vision Realization of empowered GWL com- munity in Bekasi in terms of health, economic and social. Missions Increase knowledge of GWL communi- ty in terms of health, skills, entrepre- neurship and helps to create a condu- cive atmosphere. Contact: Bekasi, Indonesia 085715551776 GWL KAWANUA Vision The empowered and matured GWL KAWANUA Missions To improve community solidarity in organizationan and networking with- in and with external stakeholders. Organizational Values Honesty Voluntary Commitment Equality Responsibility Contact: Manado, Indonesia 04313488557 GAYAPATRIOT GWLKAWANUA
  • 114. 105| 128 VIOLETGREY KELUARGABESARWARIAYOGYAKARTA(KEBAYA) VIOLET GREY Violet Grey (VG) is the first LGBT organization in Aceh, the organization initiated by three young activists to their concerns on injustice and discrimination faced by LGBT groups in Aceh, especially in the name of religion. Violet Grey was founded on November 2, 2007. The name Violet (purple) was inspired by the color of feminist symbol and expected to be the ideology framework of VG in doing its work. While Grey was to answer that in the world of binary opposition there are not just black and white only, but in the middle there is gray. Violet Grey for nearly four years has been actively promoting the fulfillment of LGBT rights and prevention of HIV, particularly in LGBT- IQ group. VG also has been strengthening capacity of LGBT groups through series of training and discussion on sexuality and human rights. VG is also conducting a public campaign to raise public awareness about the need for respect for the diversity of sexuality and gender identity, as well as socialization of Yogyakarta principles as the document containing the principles of rights- LGBT groups. Contact: Aceh, Indonesia KEBAYA Vision Jogjakarta TG with a gender per- spective and have the intellectual integrity and the adequate ability. Transgender acceptance by fami- lies, communities and countries without any discrimination in the statehood of social, cultural, eco- nomic, education and health, and religion Missions Approaching change risky sexual behavior and changes in social behavior by performing assis- tance activities, organizing, em- powerment and advocacy as an effort to strengthen the capacity of transvestites. Conducting economic empower- ment of transvestites to create an independent figure/helpless as one approach to HIV/AIDS pre- vention. Contact: Yogyakarta, Indonesia 0274516719
  • 115. 106| 128 SRIKANDIPASUNDAN SRIKANDI PASUNDAN Vision To help, support and provide guidance for transgender groups in West Java to become individuals and groups with confident and positive mindset; to be independent and empowered in the fields of health, social and economic as well as added value of acceptance. Missions Provide services needed by transsexuals in accessing services through capacity building activities of individuals and groups, mental and spiritual support as well as facilitating access to health services, social, economic and other essential services. Objectives To assist and facilitate TG groups in West Java in minimizing stigma and discrimination, to provide psychological support, access to health and social services needed through activities involving communities and government; increasing the capacity of individuals and groups, open access to health services, and open access to socioeconomic services. Contact: +62 (022) 5207596 Bandung, Indonesia HIMPUNANWARIABATAM(HIWABA) HIWABA Himpunan Waria Batam (HIWABA) is a community based organization of marginalized group. Founded on January 25, 2005 in Batam. Registered as independent non-Government and non- profit organization. Hiwaba is organization guided by Pancasila dan the 1945 Constitution. Non politic, non racial, and non interfaith. Works together with other NGOs concerns on the same issues. Objectives 1. Himpunan Waria Batam (HIWABA) to become a place for TG community in Batam. 2. Empowerment of TG in Batam and surrounding islands. 3. Improve welfare of TG in Batam. 4. To Unite Vision and Mission and to absorb aspiration of TGs. 5. To advocate and educate of the definition of TG to general population for acceptance and equality in civil rights. Contact: Batam, Indonesia 0813-6461-1426 04313488557
  • 116. After a series of national consultations that started as early as 2009, the network was finally formed in October 2012.
  • 117. 108| 128 Dangal Filipinas is a national coalition of 23 gay, bisexual, other MSM and transgender (GBMT) groups all over the country. The formation of the network is the result of several years of network-building and collaboration between and among community groups working in the areas of LGBT rights and sexual health. After a series of national consultations that started as early as 2009, the network was finally formed in October 2012. The network aims to: 1. Provide a national platform for CBOs of gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgenders to facilitate the networking and sharing of information and strategies among CBOs; 2. Facilitate capability-building for GMT CBOs, especially on the issue of human rights, sexual health, and community development; 3. Provide a national platform for GMT CBOs to facilitate unities on issues affecting the community; 4. Engage public and private institutions and decision-makers that have influence in the welfare of Filipino GMTs; 5. Advocate and educate the community and the broader public on sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual rights, and sexual health; and 6. Be a venue for collective action. Dangal National Network is comprised of the following organizations: B- CHANGE Foundation, Babaylanes, Bahaghari Dasmarinas, Batangas Barako, Bisdak Pride, Cavite Suport Group, Cebu Plus Association, Inc., Crossbreeds, Inc., GaYON Albay, INDIGO Bulacan, IWAG Dabaw, Katlo, Inc., MCC Baguio, Mindanao AIDS Advocate Association, Inc., Peer Educators Movement for Empowerment (Peer Ed ME PAMACQ), Pinoy Plus, Inc., SHINE SOCSARGEN, STRAP Phils., The Love Yourself, Inc., TINGUG (Cagayan De Oro), TLF SHARE Collective, Inc., Transgender COLORS and UP Babaylan. DANGAL FILIPINAS Contact details: Dangal National Network Secretariat TLF Share, Rm 305, AP Escueta Building, 819 Aurora Boulevard, Barangay Immaculate Conception, Quezon City, Philippines. Email: Phone: (632) 358.3811 and 940.8800. Jonas Bagas
  • 118. VISIONPNGOC is the lead network of sustainable NGOs that strives for the health and empowerment of Filipinos towards a humane, just, and equitable society.
  • 119. 110| 128 PNGOC The Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC) is a registered non-profit organization with tax-exempt donor recipient status. A group of 17 Philippine NGOs founded it on June 24, 1987 with the objective of becoming the voice of population and development advocates within the NGO, government and funding circles. PNGOC has since responded to the growing demand for NGO services in population, reproductive and sexual health and development. It has become a leading advocate of the reproductive health care framework as espoused by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action. From the fledging organization of 17 NGOs in 1987 PNGOC has grown into a formidable force of 97 member NGOs focusing on different development concerns and catering to various sectors of the population all over the country. The Council now strives to empower Filipinos and improve their quality of life by advocating for reforms on the national and local levels. It continues to strengthen partnerships among its member-NGOs and government organizations through resource mobilization, policy advocacy, information management, capability enhancement, research in aid of program implementation and model development to implement and manage gender-sensitive and comprehensive reproductive health and sustainable development programs. Over the years, PNGOC's programs were achieved through the support of its partners like United Nations Population Fund, the Asian Development Bank, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Consuelo Foundation, World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Ford Foundation, AusAID, USAID, International Labor Organization and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. PNGOC Philippine NGO Council on Population, Helalth and Welfare Inc. PNGOC Secretariat Unit 305 Diplomat Condominium Building Russel Ave., Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, Philippines, 1300 Telefax. No. (632) 852-1898 E-mail:
  • 120. 111| 128 Mission We, at the Council strive to strengthen partnerships among its member NGOs through resource mobilization, policy advocacy, information management, capability enhancement, research, and model development to implement and manage gender sensitive and comprehensive reproductive health and sustainable development programs. The Council works to:  Contribute to the creation of a sociopolitical, economic and cultural environment that is supportive of population, health and development concerns and programs.  Enable members to integrate and sustain effectively and efficiently population, health and development programs into their existing programs.  Help members to generate, mobilize and share internal and external resources.  Serve as an effective resource and information center on population, health and development.  Strengthen partnerships geared for development among the national government, local government units, people's organizations and international institutions.
  • 121. 112| 128 TLF SHARE TLF SHARE, incorporated in September 2005 is a non-profit membership organization duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It was founded by former officers and volunteers of The Library Foundation, known to be one of the pioneers in HIV/AIDS work among MSM in the country. TLF SHARE's membership includes some of civil society’s staunch advocates and prolific trainer- educators on gender, sexuality and sexual health, issues that particularly affect communities of gay and bisexual males, transgenders and other MSM. Beginning 2010, TLF SHARE has grown to 30 members, ten of whom serve as Trustees. TLF SHARE sits as one of the NGO members of the Philippine National AIDS Council, the central advisory body empowered by Republic Act 8504 to lead the comprehensive national response to HIV and AIDS. Its members have also contributed in organizing of networks on HIV and AIDS and human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders (LGBT) based in the country and abroad. Beneficiaries Individuals, peer groups and communities of gay and bisexual males, transgenders, and other males who have sex with males (MSM) Core Values and Principles  Holistic human development  Community organizing for development  Gender equality Core Competencies  Capacity Building  Community Organizing  Advocacy  Communications  Resource Management Program Areas  Education for the Prevention of STI and HIV among MSM and Transgenders  Networking and Advocacy to Advance LGBT Rights  Developing Local Communities of Gay and Bisexual Males and Transgenders Contact National Capital Region 2580 A. Bonifacio St., Bangkal, Makati City Telefax: (632) 751 7047, 728 8487 Southern Tagalog 148-B P. Burgos St., Brgy. 12, Batangas City Telefax: (6343) 723 5059
  • 122. 113| 128 CebuPlusAssociation,Inc(CPAI) CPAI VISION “Cebuplus Association, Inc., (CPAI) is a competent, sustainable organization of dedicated & innovative advocates, responsive to the needs of the key affected population at risk & vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in the Visayas region, contributing to the creation of safe and supportive environment for all.” MISSION “CPAI is a support system of advocates that reaches out and mobilizes the key affected population and stakeholders in increasing awareness, reducing stigma and discrimination, and providing quality services on HIV and AIDS towards behavioural change starting with oneself.” GOALS 1. People (service provider/ staff volunteers) 2. Programs and Services (prevention, treatment care support, IGP/resource generation) 3. Partners (networking, referral, expansion) 4. Policy Systems (HR Policy, IGP marketing strategies) Contact: Cebu City Health Department Building, General Maxilom Extension, Cebu City, Cebu - Philippines 6000 Phone: (032) 416-5368 Email: Web: MAAAI VISION Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association, Inc. envisions a dignified, improved and sustainable quality of life for PLHIV. MISSION Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association, Inc. commits itself to: (a) prevent STI, HIV and AIDS in Mindanao; (b) empower PLHIV to respond to STI, HIV and AIDS issues/concerns in the community; and (c) strengthen the relationship between service providers and PLHIV in Mindanao. GOAL Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association, Inc. seeks to promote, protect and uphold the rights of PLHIV. OBJECTIVES Mindanao AIDS Advocates Association, Inc. aims to: (a) Secure the commitment of PLHIV to be responsible in preventing the spread of STI, HIV and AIDS; (b) Promote solidarity among PLHIV, affected families and communities; and, (c) Facilitate active participation and involvement of PLHIV in STI, HIV and AIDS prevention, and support. CONTACT Email : Phone : 09399052367, 09231692335 MindanaoAIDSAdvocacyAssociation,Inc(MAAAI)
  • 123. 114| 128 PeerEducatorsMovementforEmpowermentofPasay,Manila, CaloocanandQuezonCity(PAMACQ) PAMACQ The Peer Educators Movement for Empowerment of Pasay Manila Caloocan and Quezon City (Peer Ed ME PAMAC-Q), a youth-led non-government organization working on HIV and sexual & reproductive health and rights issues. VISION A respected and self-reliant organization of peer educators in Metro Manila advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights of MSM, LGBT, FSW, in and out of school youth and cultural youth. MISSION: Unite and empower the members to become effective peer educators and community partner in the promotion of positive behavior change and human development of MSM, LGBT, FSW and youth. CONTACT Jay Arian C. Caparida President 0919.6827011 Email: Website: PPAI Pinoy Plus Association Inc. is a peo- ple’s organization of Filipinos living with HIV and AIDS. It is a non-stock, non-profit, non-government organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Com- mission implementing community based HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support services to peers, their families and significant others. Provide programs and services in collabo- ration with key stakeholders in order to ultimately reduce stigma and discrimina- tion against PLHIVs and their affected communities through:  Advocacy  Capacity Building  Information & Education  Resource Mobilization  Governance  Referral/Support Services  Partnership Building CONTACT 1805 Pedro Guevarra Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila, Philippines Telephone: +63917 835 0031 Telefax: +632 7437293 Email: PinoyPlusAssociation,Inc(PPAI)
  • 124. 115| 128 SocietyofTranssexualWomenofThePhilippines(STRAP) STRAP MISSION To establish transgender community composed of empowered individuals who are psychologically healthy, physically fit, financially stable and socially intelligent. Will link with other transgender and non- transgender organizations both local and international  To disseminate information on TG women through ICT  To reach XX # of the public on TG women information  To regularly update the TG women situation in the Philippines  Will continue conducting monthly support group meetings every 3rd week of the month.  To be updated with transgender issues locally and globally.  To conduct activities that promote local and international transgender issues like TDOR, Pride March, etc.  To conduct trainings to other transgender and non-transgender organizations about transgender rights. CONTACT 19-01 phase IV Yosemite St. Park Homes, Subdivision Barangay Tunasan, Muntinlupa City Email : TLY "Love Yourself Inc. (for the Youth & LGBT-MSM) is a non-stock, non-profit SEC organization that aims to reach out to the community to propagate ideas and practices that encourage loving one's self -- to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a way to multiplying joy. VISION VINN Advocacy's mission is to serve as a resource centre for the YOUTH & LGBT-MSM (men having sex with men) promoting wellness through education and counselling on prevention, cure and rehabilitation in response to venereal infections (STD and HIV) and sexuality concerns. MISSION VINN Advocacy's vision is to develop a safe, gender-sensitive society of HIV/STD-free YOUTH & LGBT-MSM in the Philippines. GOALS Long-Term Goal: LOVEYOURSELF (VINN ADVOCACY FOR THE YOUTH AND LGBT-MSM) goal is to open a self- sustaining resource centre for the YOUTH & LGBT-MSM that will cater to education and counselling utilizing social media networking, community involvement and advocacy focused but not limited to the risk and key population involved. TheLoveYourself(TLY)
  • 125. 116| 128 TransgenderCOLORS,Inc. COLORS "Embrace your Uniqueness, Dare to be Different" Transgender COLORS Inc. (Coalition for the Liberation of the Reassigned Sex - COLORS), a SEC Registered and National Youth Commission- accredited, is a non-stock, non-profit, non-political transgender organization based in Cebu City, Philippines working for the development of the transgender sector and advocating equality for the LGBT community. VISION We envision a strong, united and empowered transgender community that nurtures their well-being and welfare and rebuild a discrimination- free and equal society. MISSION In realizing our vision, we are dedicated in working: • To mold the transgender individuals for its empowerment and self- determination. • To unite the transgender and establish them as one strong community. • To educate transgender health and rights. • To function as a support group to address transgender concerns and issues. • To create a positive image of the transgender in building the community’s pride. • To create mutual cooperation with other sectors of society. • To advocate for the sexual orientation and gender identities and SOGI cause. GOALS Conducting personality development and community building activities. Campaigning of SOGI and promoting human rights in communities, companies and institutions. Lobbying for the passage of a local and national Anti-discrimination measure. Developing preventive interventions of HIV/AIDS in the transgender community. CONTACT: Transgender COLORS Inc. 38 Waling-Waling St., Cebu City 6000 Telephone: 0932-1852-159 Email:
  • 126. 117| 128 MISSION“The Network exists to empower, enable, and strengthen MSM and TG in Malaysia towards achieving equality in the society and access to sexual health services”
  • 127. 118| 128 myISEAN myISEAN or the Malaysia MSM and TG Network is a national network or group of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in Malaysia committed to the sexual health and well-being of the MSM and TG communities in Malaysia myISEAN Member CBOs 1. myNETRA 2. MSM Poz 3. MSM Outreach 4. TS Programme 5. PAMT 6. Seksualiti Merdeka 7. Komited Malaysia 8. Cahaya Harapan 9. FHDA 10.CHCC 11.FHA Kedah 12.SCHA 13.KL Light 14.myPlus Contact:
  • 128. 119| 128 MISSIONPTF mission is to be the most efficient community-based organization providing information, education, and care services relating to HIV/AIDS and sexuality in Malaysia, working with communities that are difficult to reach due to societal discrimination.
  • 129. 120| 128 PT Foundation PT Foundation was founded in 1987 to provide a telephone counseling service for HIV/ AIDS and sexuality issues. PT Foundation is a community-based, voluntary non-profit making organization providing HIV/AIDS education, prevention, care and support programs, sexuality awareness and empowerment programs for vulnerable communities in Malaysia. PTF works with 5 vulnerable communities mainly drug users, sex workers, transsexuals, men who have sex with men (MSM), and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). Over the years, PTF have expanded the services responding to the needs and concerns of various communities that are discriminated against due to their way of life or HIV/AIDS status. Objectives PTF are committed to creating an enabling environment for marginalized communities in the following ways:  To help minimize the rate of infection of HIV/AIDS amongst our communities  To help provide care and support and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS  To help reduce discrimination of our communities that is based on ignorance and lack of information  To empower our communities by providing them a safe space to be themselves PT Foundation Formerly known as Pink Triangle, Sdn Bhd. PTF Secretariat No. 7C/1, Jalan Ipoh Kecil, Off Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur 50530 – Malaysia T: +60340444611 | F: +6034044622
  • 130. 121| 128 KLLIGHT KL LIGHT VISION CHINESE MSM CARE CBO wants to be a caring, committed and well-established CBO, implementing full programs for MSM on HIV and well-being. Mission Statement It is committed to upholding the sexual health, rights, and well-being of MSM in Malaysia by providing effective and comprehensive services. OBJECTIVES 1. To provide accurate information on HIV and STI through workshops 2. To educate MSM to practice safer sex behavior 3. To strengthen the knowledge of Human rights among the minority community 4. To reduce the stigmas and discriminations among MSM and Transgender 5. To establish good rapports in order to encourage heterosexists more acceptance towards MSM and Transgender CONTACT Email: Viva Home Mall, UE3 Block B, Level 8, B-6-6, Menara Uncang Emas 85,Jalan Loke Yew, 55200, Kuala Lumpur. Phone Number: 0060-1988182-88 FHA Kedah FHA recognizes the importance of continuation of advocacy work in the prevention of AIDS epidemic by implementing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and HIV education programs. Such effort will certainly give a greater impact towards the social change including sensitization and empowerment among the general public and specific. Therein, Kedah FHA is always being one of the agents to organize the on-going HIV educational and awareness programs/ activities. MISSION 1. To create awareness and sensitization on HIV and related issues at all levels, through a variety of different channels 2. Participation in strengthening of networks dealing with HIV 3. To reduce HIV and protection of the right of people infected and affected by HIV VISSION To be an effective, caring and self-reliant NGO in the field of population, family planning and sexual and reproductive health. CONTACT Email: Family Health Association Kedah, No.2 Kampung Baru, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah Darul Aman Phone Number: 604-7321280 FAMILYHEALTHASSOCIATIONKEDAH
  • 131. 122| 128 KOMITED MALAYSIA KOMITED Malaysia is the only CBO in Malaysia that is a ‘ One Stop Centre ’ conceptualised where its services are Client Oriented Service Friendly. KOMITED Malaysia offers various continuum of cares and services through a different approach regarding drug use and HIV & AIDS (Comprehensive Holistic Approach). The idea to establish KOMITED was inspired by a group of ex-drug users from Pahang. Komited Malaysia's Vision is to uphold a country of zero drugs and HIV / AIDS through the Comprehensive and Holistic Approach while its mission is to become an organisation that is the leader in driving all the community to handle the problem related to drugs abuse and HIV / AIDS through Prevention and Treatment Intervention. CONTACT Email: p.o box 379 Pejabat Pos Besar Kuantan Pahang, 25740 Kuantan Pahang Darul Makmur Phone Number: 0609-5145575 KOMITEDMALAYSIA PAMT The dynamics of sex work is rapidly changing with globalization; driven by an amalgamation of economic, technological, socio-cultural, political, and biological factors. The changing trends in sex work are further augmented by population mobility, migration and deficiencies in addressing the construction of an enabling environment to adequately implement programs for HIV interventions targeting sex workers. Pertubuhan Advokasi Masyarakat Terpinggir Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor (PAMT) or Marginalized Communities Advocacy Organization, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor is a sex workers advocacy association located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. PAMT has been in development since July 2010. PAMT is now officially registered in 11th July 2011 as a non government organization with the Registrar of Societies Malaysia. CONTACT Email: 204 Atas, Jalan Sungai Ujong, Taman AST, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia 70200 Phone Number: 0606-7632732 PERTUBUHANADVOKASIMASYARAKATTERPINGGIR(PAMT)
  • 132. 123| 128 SINGALANGCHARITYASSOCIATION(SCHA) SCHA Singalang Charity Organization(SCHA) formerly known as Kuching Singalang Youth Society is a new NGO registered under Registry of Society(ROS) which aims to provide information to the public about HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Other than that we also do charity work to those in needs, particularly to orphans and elders in charity homes. We also provide shows for weddings and functions which a percent of the pay received would be donated into the organization’s fund. VISION: To become a charity organization that aims to strengthen the society’s awareness to the importance of civil rights of individuals in need. Mission Statement: To organize and support charity, health and cultural activities to promote well being for all. CONTACT Email: SL 13,LOT 5533,1ST Floor,Fasa 3A, Bandar Baru Semariang, Jln Sultan Tengah,Petra Jaya,93050, Kuching,Sarawak Phone Number: 6016-8915582 PERSATUANCAHAYAHARAPAN PERSATUAN CAHAYA HARAPAN Persatuan Cahaya Harapan is an organisation that gives counselling, blood testing and needle exchange services for injecting drug users. This organisation is funded by the Ministry of Health. In the North where the transmission of sexually transmitted infection and HIV/AIDS is quite high, a peer support group was formed. With the cooperation with ISEAN-Hivos, it gives a chance in Kedah to form a programme that specifically caters to MSM and Transgender community. The MSM and Transgender community have not yet know the correct way of caring and if infected, how to deal with the situation. The average of HIV virus infection in Kedah is very high. With the help and expertise that was given by ISEAN-Hivos, the peer support group started its project in hospitals by giving counselling, care and support and also motivation. Through this project, Cahaya Harapan also made home visits to those infected with HIV/AIDS. Although HIV looks and sounds dangerous, it can be suppressed through early detection and treatment, care and support that also can help reduced depression. Apart from supporting one another, home visitation also create a bond amongst the MSM and Transgender community. Peer Support Group, although in its infancy have attracted the attention of the hospitals with the possibilities of helping reducing the numbers of new cases of HIV/AIDS in Kedah. Chaya Harapan is hoping to expand the peer support group programme to Perlis and Penang. No Stigma and No Discrimination amongst civil servants towards the community. CONTACT Email: Jalan Zamrud 2, Kedah Malaysia Phone Number: 0604-4213752
  • 133. 125| 128 ABOUT ISEAN Islands of Southeast Asia Network on Male and Transgender Sexual Health or ISEAN is a network of networks established in 2009 after the first Regional Consultation for men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and transgender people (TG), prior to 9th ICAAP in Bali, Indonesia. The network was formed with the view of sharing information among CBOs and promoting effective HIV responses for MSM and TG across the region. ISEAN is acknowledged by the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) as representative of the sub-region that includes Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Timor Leste. CONTACT ISEAN Secretariat Jl. Tebet Dalam 1, No. 33, Jakarta Selatan, 12810 DKI Jakarta - Indonesia T +62 21 40838094 Email:
  • 134. 126| 128 THE ISEAN-HIVOS PROGRAM "Strengthening Community Systems to Reduce Vulnerability to and Impact of HIV Infection on MSMs and TGs in Insular South East Asia" In 2010, the Insular Southeast Asian Network on MSM, TG, and HIV (ISEAN) and the Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos) jointly submitted a regional proposal to the Global Fund for AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis (GFATM) Round 10. The program, entitled ˜Strengthening Community Systems to Reduce Vulnerability to and Impact of HIV infection on MSM and TG in Insular Southeast Asia”, was approved by GFATM and contract for the grant was signed on 6 October 2011. Its goal is to reduce the vulnerability and risks of MSM and TG to HIV infection and the impact of HIV on their lives in Insular Southeast Asia. It intends to address critical gaps in supporting and scaling up activities that reduce HIV/AIDS among MSMs and TGs. The Grant Agreement was approved by Global Fund and the contract for the grant was signed on 6 October, 2011. This grant, has since then been called, the ISEAN-Hivos Program. OBJECTIVES OF THE ISEAN-HIVOS PROGRAM  To strengthen the capacity of Community Based organizations (CBOs) and healthcare providers to improve the delivery of HIV related services for MSMs and TGs.  To improve the enabling environment and strategic advocacy regarding MSM, TG, and HIV related issues.  To improve the development and utilization of strategic information on MSM, TG, and HIV towards strengthening national responses.  To promote the strategic use of ICT and media to effectively scale up the HIV response among MSM and TG.
  • 135. 127| 128 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ABOUT UNDP The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN development agency headquartered in New York City. UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP helps developing countries attract and use aid effectively. In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights and capacity development. UNDP AND HIV UNDP works to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and reduce its impact. As a trusted development partner, and co-sponsor of UNAIDS, it helps countries put HIV/ AIDS at the centre of the national agenda; build national capacity to mobilize all levels Regional Partners
  • 136. 128| 128 ABOUT SATU DUNIA SatuDunia/OneWorld Indonesia is a non-profit corporation that handles the information, communication, knowledge and technology, for civil society organizations in Indonesia. SatuDunia believes that the ability to make changes starting ability in dealing with the institutions and make use of information, communication, knowledge and technology strategically, effectively and efficiently. SATU DUNIA AS A PARTNER OF THE ISEAN-HIVOS GFATM PROGRAM In ISEAN-Hivos Program, SatuDunia serves as the ICT Service Provider who will carry out activities related to ICT to achieve one of the strategic objectives of the program is to promote 'strategic use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology)' to effectively improve the response HIV among MSM and TG in Insular Southeast Asia including ICT training and develop ICT based tools. For further information, SatuDunia can be contacted at ———————— of government and civil society for a coordinated and effective response to the epidemic; and protect the rights of people living with AIDS, women, and vulnerable populations such as males who have sex with males and transgender people (MSM/TG). Because HIV/AIDS is a global problem, UNDP supports these national efforts by offering knowledge, resources and best practices from around the world. UNDP AS A PARTNER OF THE ISEAN- HIVOS GFATM PROGRAM UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) is proud to be a partner as a sub-recipient and technical advice provider in the ISEAN-Hivos Global Fund regional grant in four Southeast Asian countries that seeks to reduce the impact of HIV on MSM/TG communities by strengthening the capacity of community based organizations (CBOs) and health care providers. UNDP brings its extensive global and regional experience in community systems strengthening of CBOs, in creating enabling environments for strategic advocacy, and in the strategic use of ICT in improving the HIV response to its work with the ISEAN-Hivos grant. Furthermore, UNDP has been involved in a similar capacity with the regional grant for South Asia with similar objectives and is able to use its experience on that grant to improve its work on this grant. Questions and requests for clarification can be directed to Saurav Jung Thapa, Technical Officer – LGBT and Human Rights, UNDP APRC at ————————
  • 137. ISEAN-HIVOS Global Fund Project Jl.Kemang Selatan XII No.1 Jakarta Selatan 12560 — Indonesia Tel.+62-217892489 Fax.+62-217808115