Gender inequality is one of the root causes of continuing growth of HIV/AIDS epidemic and existing gaps in access to prevention, treatment and care services. Transgender often have limited access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services due to cultural barriers, various forms of violence and harmful practices. Stigma and discrimination towards transgender people are widespread, and limit significantly the effectiveness of the epidemic response among these key populations. Various factors such as gender identity and self-expression, economic vulnerability, fear and violence, safe sex negotiating obstacles, patriarchal culture values, including those evoking harmful health practices, lead to an increased risk of HIV infection and extremely limited access to HIV testing, prevention, treatment and care among these key populations. These factors are often associated with significant behavioral and other risks (drug use, sex work, migration, and imprisonment).
The Eurasian Key Populations Health Network (EKHN) seeks to address these problems by promoting gender approach in HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, as well as by strengthening of the rights protection mechanisms for gender diversity, especially transgender people. However, this activity often encounters serious political, socio-economic, cultural barriers associated with legislation gaps, dominating patriarchal culture values, cultivation of homophobia and other factors in many countries of the region. To overcome them, consolidation of expert potential, best practices and achievements, mobilization and capacity building of specialists and representatives of key populations, think tank for new ideas and innovative approaches on awareness raising, advocacy and protection of rights are strongly needed.
EKHN believes that the establishment the Expert Group on Gender and HIV/AIDS (hereinafter – the Expert Group) will help to overcome the above barriers.
Members of Expert Group on Gender and HIV/AIDS
Carl Streed Jr. MD MPH FACP is an assistant professor of medicine in the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and research lead in the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Boston Medical Center. After completing his SB and AB in biological chemistry and chemistry at the University of Chicago, he earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins, where he advocated for the inclusion of sexual and gender minority (SGM, LGBTQ) health in the curricula of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, increased the visibility and value of SGM communities through community advocacy, and achieved transgender equity in health insurance coverage. Carl completed a fellowship in general internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where his research focused on the health and well-being of SGM individuals and communities, particularly transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. Nationally, he has chaired the American Medical Association Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues and served on the board of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality. His efforts to improve the health and well-being of SGM individuals and communities have earned him the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Award, the American Medical Student Association James Slayton National Award for Leadership Excellence, the AMA Foundation Excellence in Medicine Award, and the Erickson-Zoellers Point Foundation Scholarship, as well as recognition by the Obama White House and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Zil Goldstein, FNP-BC is and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Education at the Icahn School of Medicine and the Associate Medical Director for Transgender and Gender Non-binary (TGNB) Health at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center where she oversees the care of 4500 transgender patients and the provision of free and low-cost medical and behavioral health services to people involved in the sex trades. Prior to coming to Callen-Lorde, Ms. Goldstein worked in the Mount Sinai Health System founding the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery bringing gender affirming surgery to New York City. Throughout her career, she has offered HIV and primary care focused on improving health outcomes and access for transgender and gender non-binary people. Her research includes HIV treatment and prevention among transgender people as well as biomedical outcomes associated with gender transition.
Tanja Dimitrijevic began her engagement with HIV issues in late 90-ies when she while working at a local radio station in Serbia met and interviewed the first and in that time the only person living with HIV in the region who openly spoke about his status. She started as volunteer and she mainly worked with people who used drugs and ex-offenders. She also supported local HIV activists and PLHIV while running her private business. From 2015 to 2018 she was a member of the Main Board of local HIV organization the SUN PLHIV. Her main work was raising awareness, events organizing, voluntarily testing and counselling organizing, grants writing, communication, developing partnerships, lobbying etc. From December 2018 Tanja has worked for Nova+ as a Program Manager. She is also in her first AIDS Action Europe Steering Committee term which has last for three years and is finishing in December 2019. Additionally, she is member of the Main Board of MOPPS- network of organizations working in post-penal support in Serbia. Her formal education is in Economics and Literature and Languages. She has expertise in Online Marketing, Communications and Strategic Planning. Her multidisciplinary academic research interests include gender, drug use, sexual health and well-being.
Anna Kriukova, MD, the lawyer with higher medical education. She graduated from St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Academy in 2000. In 2003 she finished her postgraduate education on ENT. In 2008 Dr. Kriukova received Law Degree in Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU). Since 2013 during 1.5 years she worked as Professor Assistant at Department of Pedagogics, Phylosophy with course of Medical law of North-Western State Medical University named after I.I. Mechnikov. In 2018 Dr. Kriukova finished the course of Health care management and Public Health.
In 2003 Dr. Kriukova joined to “Open Medical Club” Charitable Foundation in 2003 as Program Coordinator and took a position of Director in 2004. Since 2009 she was conducting and implementing “Law and Health” project which is devoted to the rights protection of key population and patients in connection with health status. She was successful in in-country strategic litigation defending rights of migrants living with HIV in Russia. She is a litigating lawyer, human rights defender and trainer for activists. She administers www.health-rights.ru web-site.
She is experienced in working for the governmental medical organization as a lawyer and teacher.
Dr. Anna Kriukova is the author of 18 publications devoted to legal issues in health care.
Sana Ahmad is a young lawyer by profession and activist for the rights of transgender persons and gender-nonconforming people in Pakistan. She is an out of the box thinker, an activist working for Sexual and Gender Minorities since 2015. Sana is a young powerful voice for communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who have suffered due to their gender identities, sexual orientations, and expressions. She is also a founder of the ‘ Feminist Beyond Gender’ a community platform advocating for safe spaces to sexual and gender minorities. She joined an organization “Blue Veins” in 2017 and since her joining an advocacy organization, she has been proving herself as a revolutionary young advocate engaged in improving healthcare services to sexual and gender minorities, HIV awareness, health advocacy, SRHR, gender equality and social justice.
Sana is a strategic advocacy expert who has a commitment to ensure that marginalized voices are centered and reflected in today’s society. She has played a critical role in formulating provincial transgender protection policy, the Transgender Protection of Rights Act and has also conducted research on the accessibility of healthcare challenges to sexual and gender minorities. She is actively engaged and involved in improving prevention as well as response to sexual health issues of transgender community. She works with stakeholders in general and transgender community in particular to improve the access of quality health care and services for transgender and break the myths around HIV within the transgender community and community at large.
Olena Semenova is a Ukrainian born LGBTQI human rights activist and a Doctor of Medicine. S_he has over 20 years of experience in the fields of human rights activism, HIV prevention and health services for LGBTQ, and advocacy for LGBTQI freedoms.
Since 1996, Olena has been involved in the LGBT movement. First as a journalist and an editor of the first Ukrainian gay magazine, then as an activist, member, and employee of several LGBTQ nonprofit organizations. Olena is a founding member of several LGBTQ nonprofits, festivals, events, and initiatives in different regions. Promoting human rights for LGBTQI people in Ukraine and globally, s_he became a part of the international initiative MunichKyivQueer Contact Group and a founding member of KyivPride Canada. Since 2015 Olena has been a Co-Chair of the oldest Ukrainian LGBT organization, the LGBT Association “LIGA” that has, for the past 20 years, been working for equal rights for LGBT people in Ukraine. Today Olena also represents the international community sitting on the Advisory Board of the Canadian nonprofit Dignity Network, the Equal Rights Coalition civil society network, ILGA`s Steering Committee on trans issues and the interim board of the TGEU.
Kiromiddin Gulov have managed different project teams and NGOs in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Moldova and gained strong liaison and negotiation skills, working closely both with donors (USAID, DFID, SDC) and UN agencies (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNICEF), the Global Fund, as well as governments and local non-governmental organizations. Throughout his career, he has been a member of different grant committees, research and advisory expert groups, such as the European AIDS Treatment Group, the ViiV Healthcare Foundation, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health, etc. He implemented several research projects, including designing and conducting applied research, data management, and statistical analysis. Over the past 15 years, he has been actively involved in providing training for different organizations involved in health management, health system strengthening and long-term strategy development conducting several behavioral and epidemiological studies among key groups (MSM/TG, SW, PLHIV, IDUs, migrants) on HIV, human rights, violence and gender equality issues, and the results were published and presented at international conferences. He holds a Doctorate in Epidemiology, Hygiene and Sanitation from the Tajik State Medical University and a Certificate in HIV and Health Advanced Research Methods from the School of Public Health at Pittsburgh University. Currently, he is at the end of MBA program at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (University of Basel) for a degree in International Health Management.
Sam is a psychologist, clinician, researcher and teacher working in the field of trans health, wellbeing and rights. He has worked with community organisations and non-governmental agencies worldwide, and has published around 140 articles, chapters, encyclopedia entries and monographs. In 2012 he authored the ‘Lost in Transition’ report, one of the earliest UN reports on trans health and rights. In 216 he was lead commissioned author for a ground-breaking Lancet series on trans health. He is lead author on ‘Denied Work’, a large four country research project conducted in partnership with UNDP and Asia-Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), and examining large scale discrimination against trans people seeking employment. Sam was a member of the WHO Working Group which recommended removal of trans diagnoses from the mental disorders chapter of ICD, and their relocation, under a new classification, to the new chapter on conditions related to sexual health. He was a WPATH Director from 2009 to 2018. He is currently Chair of the Policy Committee for the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health (AusPATH). His recent research and advocacy work has focused on legal gender recognition.
Aisuluu Bolotbaeva is a Kyrgyz national and expert in HIV and key populations work. She has over 15 years of experience in project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. She has worked extensively as a consultant across Central Asia and the Caucasus, conducting assessments, analyses, and providing technical assistance for the development of national-level strategies. Most recently, Ms. Bolotbaeva served as a national consultant for the evaluation of the multi-country USAID Flagship project in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; and led the Assessment of legal barriers for effective implementation of HIV and TB programs in Kyrgyzstan as part of a multi-country assessment project delivered to the Global Fund by APMG Health. In the latter effort, she utilized a standardized protocol which was developed and used across 20 countries and four implementing agencies, and successfully adapted all tools to local context without compromising consistency or quality. In her previous programmatic experience, she was heavily involved in the design and implementation of local Coordination Councils under a 5-year PEPFAR-funded project in Central Asia, and is deeply familiar with the dynamics of local-level civil society-government relations. Ms. Bolotbaeva is a skilled interviewer and facilitator of focus group discussions, and has extremely attuned knowledge of key population issues and sensitivities. She has over a decade of experience working in harm reduction and with PWUD, but is also a strong advocate for LGBTQ rights and has done significant volunteering and capacity building with NGOs working with these populations in Kyrgyzstan. In addition, she has notable experience working with sex workers and women who inject drugs, and her ability to apply a gender lens to program assessments and evaluations is a strength. Ms. Bolotbaeva is fluent in Russian and English, as well as her native Kyrgyz.