Today, in response to reports that Alexis Arquette, an actor and longtime advocate for transgender equality, died from complications related to AIDS, Jay Brown, Communications Director at the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement:
“Alexis was a fierce advocate who lived proudly and openly despite the many barriers transgender people face. Compared to the general public, one recent study showed transgender women have 49 times the odds of having HIV,” said Jay Brown, HRC Communications Director. “We should act with urgency to increase access to prevention, treatment and care for transgender people, who continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV.”
According to the CDC, there are more than one million Americans living with HIV and approximately 50,000 new infections every year. While data on the transgender community remains scarce, HRC in a recent report, HIV & the LGBTQ Community, said that studies have shown extremely high rates among transgender women, who are nearly 49 times more likely to have HIV than other women.
Last year, the HRC Foundation, in collaboration with AIDS United, released, What Do I Do? A Handbook to Understanding Health & HIV, a resource designed to provide easy-to-read, up-to-date and actionable information about HIV prevention, treatment and care.
For more HRC resources on HIV prevention, treatment and care, click here.