Positive Life NSW Logo 2021

Media Release

Monday 20 November 2023

On this day, Positive Life NSW joins all trans and gender diverse people and allies across the world to observe the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). This annual day of remembrance at the culmination of Trans Awareness Week, honours the memory of trans and gender diverse people who have lost their lives to acts of transphobia and discrimination.

Positive Life Board Director and transgender woman, Natasha Io draws attention to the ongoing intersectionality of rejection, harassment, and discrimination especially for trans and gender diverse people who live with HIV.

“When your lived experience to be yourself is scrutinised, politicised, and weaponised, your ability to navigate society, achieve optimal health outcomes and quality of life becomes challenging, and often feels insurmountable,” said Ms Io.

“Attitudes of stigma and discrimination against trans and gender diverse people especially those living with HIV, further emphasise the deep inequalities for this marginalised community as they struggle to access healthcare, housing and meaningful employment,” said Jane Costello, Positive Life NSW CEO.

“These societal attitudes inhibit the trans and gender diverse community from seeking out early and timely testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), access to gender-affirming inclusive healthcare, along with support for other physical and mental health needs,” said Ms Costello.

“Positive Life strives to see a society which fosters a safer and more supportive environment, welcoming all trans and gender diverse people who live with HIV,” said Ms Io. “It is our difference and individuality that make us who we are as a community.”

“We support TDoR, not only for the memories of lost friends, but also as a celebration of strength in adversity and as a commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive community, free of stigma and discrimination,” said Ms Io.

“Positive Life NSW can offer all people living with HIV, including our trans and gender diverse community living with HIV, free counselling with accredited counsellors who themselves live with or are affected by HIV,” said Ms Costello.

Call (02) 8357 8386, 1800 245 677 (freecall) or email contact@positivelife.org.au for a confidential initial intake.

#TransgenderDayOfRemembrance #TDOR #TransRightsAreHumanRights

TDoR has grown from the 1999 Candlelight Vigil held after the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender African American woman in Massachusetts, USA. United in its grief and struggle to honour Rita’s memory especially during the ensuing media reporting of her life and identity, her community initiated TDoR to raise awareness around anti-trans hate and prejudice.


Jane Costello, CEO – 1800 245 677 or email communications@positivelife.org.au

Positive Life NSW is the largest peer-led and run representative body of all people living with HIV in Australia based in NSW. We make a significant contribution to, and positive impact across the spectrum of health and social issues on behalf of all people living with HIV in collaboration with HIV specialist and mainstream services to improve the health and quality of life of all people living with HIV in NSW. We do this through evidence-based health promotion, research, policy advice and peer support.

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