( Oakland, CA ) — Transgender Law Center's Positively Trans project today launched #ACApositive, a campaign to shift the conversation about health care and the Affordable Care Act towards a focus on the life-or-death stakes for transgender people living with HIV. Launching just a week after news broke that the Trump administration plans to attack the Affordable Care Act's protections for transgender people, the campaign seeks to amplify the experiences and voices of transgender people of color living with HIV in federal health care policy.
"By undermining the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is undermining the survival of transgender people of color living with HIV," said Cecilia Chung, senior director of strategic projects at Transgender Law Center and founder of Positively Trans. "Yet so few advocates, policymakers, or media outlets covering these attacks on health care are talking about the stakes for my community. By saying we are #ACApositive, transgender people living with HIV are demanding that our voices and experiences be heard and respected."
The digital campaign will feature the stories and perspectives of dozens of transgender people living with HIV, including through a Twitter town hall on Monday, May 7th, at 11am PT/2pm ET.
"We are now living in a medically advanced world where, with proper treatment, HIV has become manageable, chronic condition and not a death sentence — unless you are poor, unless you are a person of color, and especially unless you're a poor transgender person of color," says Arianna Lint, a member of the Positively Trans National Advisory Board. "For us, it is 1980. The Affordable Care Act has been a critical step towards finally addressing this crisis and giving us a chance to thrive. To turn back on it now would be cruel and, for many, fatal."
In a national research study, Positively Trans found that 44% of trans people living with HIV surveyed had faced discrimination in health care because of their gender identity, and 41% had gone six months or more without medical care since their HIV diagnosis. Positively Trans, the first network led by and for transgender people living with HIV ( TPLHIV ), launched in 2015 to address inequities, stigma, and discrimination faced by TPLHIV through community-driven research, leadership development, storytelling, and organizing.
Evonne Kaho, another member of Positively Trans, added, "We are launching the #ACApositive campaign because everyone should be able to get medical care when they need it. Everyone deserves for their life to be saved, and that's what the Affordable Care Act means for transgender people living with HIV. It's a matter of life or death for us."
Learn more about #ACApositive and find campaign materials at https://transgenderlawcenter.org/acapositive.
Transgender Law Center ( TLC ) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. transgenderlawcenter.org