19 August : After return from International AIDS conference (held in Mexico City) in the capacity of Technical Review Committee member of the prestigious Red Ribbon Award, noted physician and Medical Director of International Health Organization, Dr Diwakar Tejaswi, at a press conference held at the Windsor Hotel, Exhibition Road in Patna on Sunday, said that the transgender community was found to be at excessive risk of acquiring HIV AIDS.
Dr. Tejaswi said that currently 33 million people worldwide were living with HIV AIDS. In India, 2.5 million people were infected with Bihar having more than 18,000 HIV positives.
During the International AIDS meet that had a participation of more than 22,000 experts from around the world, concerns were expressed that 14 to 69% HIV positivity rate was found among the trans-genders. India has a population of nearly 50,000 trans-genders and in Mumbai, in a study of 5,000 transgender, 42.2% were found to be HIV positive, Dr. Tejaswi said.
At the Mexican meet, three voluntary organizations from India including the People Like Us (working with the transgender community in Kolkata); Sankalp (working with intravenous drug users in Mumbai), and Sangmitra (working with commercial sex workers in Mumbai) were honored with the Red Ribbon Award.
Mr. Anand Dwivedi and Dr Himanshu Roy from PAHAL, Mr. Pawan Kumar from IHO, and Mr. Akash from CIPLA were also present at the Sunday press conference.