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Trans In Action Belize | CRG-SI Project

GATE held a 2-day workshop in Belize in November 2018 with trans community leaders to create an action plan for the sustainability of trans communities in the HIV and TB response beyond Global Fund investment in the country.

  • Published
  • 25 November 2018
Trans In Action Belize GATE logo
© Trans activists from Belize at GATE’s CRG-SI project workshop in 2018


According to UNAIDS, as of 2016, Belize has the highest overall HIV prevalence rate in Latin America, with an estimated HIV prevalence of 1.8% among adults 15 to 49 years. Even though there is no epidemiological data on the situation of transgender persons and HIV in Belize, patterns indicate high HIV prevalence among the transgender population in the region. UNAIDS 2017 estimates show that HIV prevalence for transgender women in countries bordering Belize is 17.4% in Mexico and 22.2% in Guatemala, with few support programs to address their specific needs. Key data collected on the transgender population also indicates a trend of higher risk and incidence due to socioeconomic factors that increase the vulnerability of the population in Belize.

In Belize, there is limited data on the transgender population. However, a few preliminary studies have been conducted. One of the studies conducted by UNIBAM in 2010 found that even though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1, establishes that all human beings are created equal in dignity and rights, 78% of those interviewed believe that the laws do not protect the transgender population in Belize. Although classified as an Upper Middle-Income country by the World Bank, Belize is still confronted with the realities of widespread poverty. This contributes to poor health conditions, unemployment, gender-based violence, low education and other socioeconomic inequities, which increase susceptibility to HIV and TB, especially for the most marginalized groups.

In order to address this systemic exclusion of transgender communities and to enable greater engagement in Global Fund country processes and funding grant proposals, GATE hosted a 2-day workshop on 24-25 November 2018. A draft of a technical request for submission to the CRG was developed among the participants to strengthen the community’s capacity to play a more meaningful role in the Global Fund processes.

Case Studies

Star Reyes, Secretary of UC Trans

I am grateful that I had an opportunity to interact with other members of the transgender community, and collaborate in the development of a technical request to the CRG. I was surprised, but also happy, that Erika Castellanos had requested my presence at this session, as I often feel left out of most discussions, as they are for trans women, not trans men. We need more coordination and collaboration among the transgender community.

Star Reyes