Advocates prepare to deliver essential supplies to LGBTQI people, like Alina, in need. Image courtesy of Kyrgyz Indigo.
Sex workers also need food, shelter, and safety, just like everyone else. But stigma and lost income has left some sex workers homeless, hungry, and vulnerable to violence. In Kyrgyzstan, Alina‘s family rejected her because she is a transgender woman. She became a sex worker after jobs rejected her because her identity did not match her legal documents.
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Now that Alina’s community is under lockdown, she and other sex workers have no income. She cannot get groceries, pay rent, or afford health care, including testing for COVID-19. She is unable to isolate safely, which increases her risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. UNFPA is working with Kyrgyz Indigo, an LGBTQI+ organization, to support Kyrgyzstan’s queer community. This includes providing groceries and medicines, like antiretrovirals for those living with HIV and hormone therapy for transgender people. UNFPA is also working to train health care staff on non-discrimination. Every person has a right to health care without fearing poor treatment by those who have power over their health.