Joseph Kawesi, executive director of a Ugandan transgender group has amazingly been allowed to continue distributing antiretroviral medications during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is most welcome news as COVID-19 preys on people with preexisting conditions that inhibit the autoimmune system such as HIV untreated.
This is also welcome news since 23 homeless LGBT people and their nurse was beaten on March 29 for the ‘crime’ of being in a homeless shelter. Twenty of those innocent LGBT people are remanded to Kabasanda Prison, incredibly charged with spreading COVID-19, without legal representation, without a trial date, and with very little hope.
Joseph Kawesi is director of the Come Out Post Test Club which is a safe space, for transgender and transexuals who are HIV positive and engage in sex work while living in Uganda. In addition to meeting online, they also have regular physical meetings.
76crimes originally broke this story reports that Come Out Post Test Club — Uganda (COPTEC) is a trans women/sex worker-led organization. It was founded in 2013 by a group of trans women sex workers living with HIV/AIDS in response to the intense stigma, discrimination and high death rate of trans women living with HIV/AIDS, who had difficulties getting social services such as health care and education.
COPTEC-Uganda works on behalf of transgender-diverse communities for recognition of their human rights, seeking an end to discrimination, stigma and exclusion and seeking to empower them to live meaningful lives.