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Ayu, a volunteer from Srikandi Pasundan in Bandung, West Java, and her group participate in a capacity building session. (JG Photo/Yli Krisna)
How Bandung’s Transgender Community Is Taking on HIV/AIDs One Test at a Time

in INDONESIA, 26/10/2013

Sitting in a waiting room at a Bandung health clinic, Ciner patiently prepares herself to undergo a voluntary counseling test. Ayu, a social worker from Srikandi Pasundan, an organization that advocates for transgender empowerment, said that it is difficult to convince the dozens of transgender prostitutes in Binong to take the voluntary test and practice safe sex.

“Most of them refuse to go to the clinic. Sometimes I feel it is easier to take care of my seven cats than take care of these transgenders,” said Ayu, herself a transgender and a prostitute.

The 31-year-old social worker said that she joined Srikandi two years ago after attending one of the group’s sessions.

“Before [joining Srikandi] I used to take [safe sex] for granted. I wasn’t taking care of my own health let alone helping others. But after joining Srikandi Pasundan and attending their sessions I became more aware of [HIV]. I’ve seen examples, cases. That’s when it hit me. I need to take my friends to these sessions and tests.”

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