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Transgender activist hits back at ‘outrageous’ stand of Muslim NGO

 | June 4, 2017

Nisha Ayub says I-Medik's stand shows its focus is not on preventing HIV spread but preventing gender and sexual affiliations.

Nisha-Ayub-1

PETALING JAYA: Focus on the real issue, which is curbing the spread of HIV.

This is the advice transgender rights activist Nisha Ayub has for a Muslim medical practitioners and health workers group which has come out in support of a health ministry contest to “prevent” transgender and homosexual behavior.

Nisha said the stand of the Pertubuhan Ikatan Pengamal Perubatan dan Sains Kesihatan Muslim Malaysia’s (I-Medik) was “outrageous”.

She said the group is not focusing on the real issue — that is to stop the spread of HIV.

“It seems they are not talking about preventing  the HIV virus spreading but preventing the LGBT community from their sexual affiliations,” she told FMT today.

LGBT refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Nisha said “corrective measures do not work and will create more harm to these people, making the community go more underground”.

The activist is attached to the Seed Foundation, an NGO that works with the local transgender community.

Nisha was responding to I-Medik’s statement yesterday that supported the health ministry’s programme to discourage transgender and homosexual activities in the country.

I-Medik’s vice-president Dr Rafidah Hanim said based on the AIDS Response Progress Report 2016, prepared by the HIV/STI (sexually transmitted infection) section of the health ministry’s disease control division, men who have sex with men and transgenders are most affected by AIDS, along with sex workers and people who inject drugs.

Nisha, who was the winner of the US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award last year, said I-Medik should base its statement on facts and figures, and not its personal perception towards the LGBT group.

“The spread of HIV is highest through heterosexual couples, not through transgenders or homosexuals,” she said.

“If I-Medik wants to talk about HIV prevention, they need to look at the whole perspective, not going against a certain group.”

It was reported on Friday that the health ministry is holding a contest on ways to “prevent” homosexuality and transgenderism.

The contest invites participants to submit video clips for categories, including one called “gender identity disorder”.

According to the ministry’s website, winners of the contest will be awarded cash prizes from RM1,000 to RM4,000.

Nisha had expressed her shock over the contest.

“I was shocked. This is encouraging discrimination, hatred and even violence towards the minorities,” she had said.

‘Contest not meant to discriminate against LGBT community’

Health ministry holds contest on how to ‘prevent’ homosexuality

‘Measures against homosexuality needed to fight AIDS’


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