This post is also available in: Türkçe
The Pink Life Association (or Pembe Hayat in Turkish) is the only transgender sex workers’ rights organization in Turkey. In addition to working to make sure the country’s trans sex workers are safe, the organization is also devoted to public health campaigns. And it has reached a milestone: In the first two months of 2018, the Pink Life Association has distributed nearly 10,000 condoms.
Turkey’s Ministry of Health has provided Pink Life with condoms to distribute to trans sex workers free of charge since 2012. In the first nine months of 2017, Pink Life distributed 83,000 condoms to 380 people. And it looks like 2018 is shaping up to be on the same track. In January and February, the org distributed 9,300 condoms to 62 people.
We spoke with Pink Life Social Services Expert Şennur Ören about the program. He tells us that in addition to distributing the condoms completely free of charge, sex workers are also educated about safe sex and proper condom use. As Ören says, “One of the most important parts of Pink Life is promoting safe sex.”
The Pink Life Association also provides free, anonymous HIV testing.
Since December 2016, Pink Life has also provided free and immediate HIV testing in Ankara, Turkey. The testing is done in the Çankaya Municipality and is completely anonymous. While they may take some demographic data for their own surveys, no identifying information is recorded. In addition to testing, Pink Life also provides information and counseling, available via phone, at 0850 455 02 65.
If you’re looking for testing, visit the Çankaya Public Health Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
What is the Pink Life Association?
The Pink Life Association was founded in 2006 by transgender sex workers in response to the violence directed at them. In addition to providing support to trans sex workers and HIV testing, Pink Life provides legal and psychological assistance to the community. Pink Life also fights to change the laws to make things better for these sex workers. The mission recently expanded to include raising awareness of HIV, especially among LGBTQ youth.
Find more info about Turkey’s Pink Life Association here.
Featured image of Istanbul Pride by onyxproduction