Hyderabad: The Elton John AIDS Foundation and India HIV/AIDS Alliance on Wednesday launched a health clinic, exclusively aimed at providing sexual healthcare services to gay and transgender community members.
‘Samarth’ aims at increasing the uptake of testing, early diagnosis and treatment of HIV among community members, who traditionally fall under high-risk groups. The special clinic will also work towards reducing HIV transmission among the community members.
The members of India HIV/AIDS Alliance said they identified nearly 2,000 members of gay and transgender community in the city who face a high risk of contracting HIV.
“We reached out to 250 members. They were tested at the clinic and more are voluntarily approaching us. For people who are not open about their sexual preferences, this clinic comes as a boon,” said manager (south) of India HIV/AIDS Alliance Vijay R Nair said.
Joint director (integrated counselling and testing centres) of TS AIDS Control Society Dr Ram Mohan said there was a need for community support and assured all help from the Society.
“We will very soon join hands with NGOs including India HIV/AIDS Alliance and pilot a community-based testing programme for all high risk groups. We will also extend support by providing HIV testing kits for the programme,” he said.
Samarth community clinics will also be launched in Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal. “We identified close to 11,000 gay and transgender community members who will receive services at these centres in the next two to three years,” Nair said.
The members of India HIV/AIDS Alliance and Elton John Foundation said there was a need to extend sexual reproductive health services to gays, transgender and Hijra communities in Telangana.