Today (December 1) is World AIDS Day, which was started in 1988 to show support for people living with HIV and AIDS and honor those who have succumb to AIDS-related illnesses.
This year, Transgender Law Center’s Positively Trans project—which “seeks to mobilize and promote resilience of trans people most impacted by or living with HIV/AIDS, particularly trans women of color, through research, policy advocacy, legal advocacy and leadership strengthening”—is marking the occasion by telling the stories of trans people of color with HIV.
Positively Trans members Arianna Lint, Marcus Ecks and Aryah Lester worked with nonprofit StoryCenter to develop their personal narratives and provide a look at the people behind the statistics, which show that, globally, trans women are nearly 49 times more likely to contract HIV than the general adult population.
“In 2017, we live in a world where contracting HIV is completely preventable,” Arianna Lint, who is a national advisory board member for Positively Trans, says in her video. “We are living in a world where if you do contract HIV, it’s a chronic but treatable disease, 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. If you are holding any of those identities, especially if you’re holding all of them, you don’t live in 2017. For us, it’s 1980.”
Watch their stories below.