Persons living with HIV can't share their own stories, rights violations they have faced

Persons living with HIV can't share their own stories, rights violations they have faced

21/08/2020 | 17 Mayıs

During May 17’s strategy planning meeting, “The Report on the Human Rights of the Persons Living with HIV” published has been discussed.

Persons living with HIV can't share their own stories, rights violations they have faced - May 17 Association

Founded on 2 September 2019 to strengthen the LGBTI+ community and its activism, May 17 continues its works unceasingly.


The human rights activists working for May 17, the association that has started its projects within the context of aging, HIV, and capacity building and that has provided consultancy support for LGBTI+ organizations, got together in Datça, Muğla to evaluate the strategies of the association.


The strategy meeting that is to last for three days started today- August 21. The meeting held under the health regulations regarding the Covid-19 pandemic started with Metin Güzel’s opening speech.


What does May 17 do?


As the chairperson of May 17, Metin Güzel said: “We have founded the association with high expectations and have made our plans accordingly. We have started to work within the context of aging, HIV, and building the capacity of human rights organizations. Despite being founded right before the pandemic broke out, we still continue with our work by following the necessary heath regulations. We carry on our works regarding human rights reports and providing consultancy to associations online. With this 3-day-meeting, what we are hoping for is to establish a coordination of the works within the association and to decide upon our future directions.

There are very few platforms where those living with HIV can tell their personal stories


Following Meting Güzel, Defne Güzel talked about “The Report on the Human Rights of the Persons Living with HIV”, an ongoing research project of May 17 and Kaos GL. As one of the researchers involved, Güzel said they are carrying out a qualitative study. Stating that they have been carrying out in-depth interviews with ten LGBTI+ persons living with HIV, Güzel said: “We adopted a model of research where the participants would share their personal stories and also their experiences on how they were exposed to rights violations”


Reminding that the research is soon to be published Güzel outlined the main findings of the study as follows:

“During the interviews carried out with great care to protect respondent confidentiality, we spotted a deficiency in platforms whereby LGBTI+ persons living with HIV can speak up against violations of rights.”


“In addition, there seems to be a lack of awareness in coming to realize and spot the violations of rights.”


“LGBTI+ persons living with HIV had criticisms against both HIV and LGBTI+ organizations. They have reported issues regarding the representation of their rights and that their problems are not given enough attention.”


“Multiple discrimination and violations of rights come to the fore”


“Another issue that came up was regarding discrimination in accessing goods and services. A case in point is the prerequisite of an HIV test for sports and gym memberships.”


“Discrimination in access to health facilities is yet another issue. Discrimination on the basis of HIV status, and sexual orientation and gender identity is mostly encountered in this context. Among the reported problems were the health forms to be filled as a prerequisite to healthcare services and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity after being diagnosed with HIV. People living with HIV also face discrimination in seeking medical care for health issues other than HIV.”


“The Friday sermon delivered by the Presidency of Religious Affairs has led to distrust”


“The majority of the participants in the research mentioned lack of trust in institutions. The Friday sermon of the Presidency of Religious Affairs targeting persons living with HIV, LGBTI+ persons and those, in the Presidency’s words “committing adultery” was also an issue arising from the interviews. The participants reported a loss of trust in the institution and that they felt discredited after the salmon.”


“Finally, the participants claimed that they tend to forget the fact that they are living with HIV in their everyday life and that they are mostly reminded of it through the different forms of discriminatory practices they face.”


Following Güzel’s presentation, human rights activists from May 17 evaluated both the results of the research study and May 17’s policies within the context of HIV.


Translation: Kerem Selçuk

Please control all fields!
Your request has been sent!