Some problems LGBTI living with HIV face: transgender women who inject silicons and oils. And the use of chrystal meth amongst LGBTI in Cambodia.
Injecting Sandalwood Oil & Silicones
Since Untenu started to work for poor members of the LGBT community who are also living with HIV, we have seen many practices which may seem very strange to us. We had cases of HIV positive transgender sex workers injecting themselves with silicones because they wanted to have breasts. We’ve also witnessed the practice of injecting sandalwood oil to get a smoother face skin.
Both sandalwood oil and silicones are off course not meant for injecting. People get very sick of this.
But what can you do if your income as a sex worker declines because you are getting older? Or maybe because you’re not looking well because of the fact that being homeless, suffering from HIV or other medical problems.
For us there is absolutely no reason to condemn people who don’t know better but to trust these unhealthy methods. Off course we regret the lack of knowledge and the price people pay for it.
Drug abuse is also a big challenge and Cambodia is not an exception. Chrystal Meth is used not only by members of the LGBT community. For us it is never a reason not to help someone.
Last weeks we see an increased level of aid request. This week alone we helped two transgender sex workers who needed medical aid and food supply because they injected sandalwood oil in their faces.
And we helped paying hospital bills for a gay man living with HIV, who had an accident with his gas cooker.
And a few weeks ago we contributed to the funeral of a gay man, for whom our help earlier came too late: he died because of the complications of AIDS. He did not have the money for transportation to collect his ARV (HIV medication).
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