UNAIDS in collaboration with the Guyana Trans United (GTU) hosted a media training session to sensitise local journalists on issues related to reporting on transgender people, with an aim of improving visibility and promoting inclusiveness.
At the opening ceremony of the training session, United Nations Resident Coordinator Ms Mikiko Tanaka said the United Nations (UN) looks to the media to uphold the cardinal principles of journalism in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 Agenda which sets the stage for an inclusive society. Ms Tanaka said reporters must be mindful that their reports do not cause harm to marginalized groups in society including the LGBTI people. Stigma and discrimination, she posited, drive LGBTI people underground and affect their uptake and utilization of HIV and other health services. She told the reporters that the expectations were that with the media training, they will be more empowered to assist in upholding the human rights of LGBTI people and protecting them against abuses such as violence and discriminatory laws and practices which constitute serious violations of international human rights law.
UNAIDS’ Country Director for Guyana and Suriname Dr Martin Odiit highlighted that the media plays an integral role in how transgender persons are portrayed in society. UNAIDS calls for special efforts to be made to intensify outreach in locations of high HIV transmission with services for populations at higher risk of infection. He told the reporters that the media can bring the needed visibility to key populations most affected in different regions.
Executive Director of Guyana Trans United, Quincy McEwan, said it is hoped that the local media fraternity would help in removing the existing stereotype with respect to transgender people. She reported that they realized that they as trans persons cannot advocate for themselves without having the media meaningfully engaged.
Women living with HIV leadership training workshop
Gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and harmful practices negatively impact women and girls, and men and boys, and increase risk of HIV infection and its impact. Women living with HIV often face increased violence.
UNAIDS supported two women leaders living with HIV to attend a leadership training workshop in Port of Spain, Trinidad to catalyse gender-transformative HIV programmes that can reduce violence and empower women. The training re-energized the women leaders towards contributing to the 90-90-90 targets and the elimination of Mother-to-Child-Transmission of HIV (eMTCT) and Congenital Syphilis.
During the training, the participants explored ways to strengthen strategies to include women living with HIV in national AIDS response as well as explored opportunities to mentor into leadership and build capacity of women living with HIV. The two leaders from Guyana are expected to empower young women living with HIV to contribute to achieving gender equality (SDG5).