Vietnamese poor transgender people use black market drugs to transition

There are around 300,000 – 500,000 transgender people in Vietnam; most of them take illegal drugs for physically transition which harm their health a lot.

A hormone for transgender peopel (Photo: SGGP)

A hormone for transgender peopel (Photo: SGGP)

To have good hair and skin, most transgender people must use drug and hormone injection. A few of them from rich families can go abroad for gender reassignment surgery and buy good drugs while poorer others turn to black market drugs.
A 24 year old transgender hailing from the Mekong delta province of Dong Thap said that she had taken morning-after pill and drunk soya milk to increase female hormone before but then she injected hormone later.
She admitted to drugs on the website that allowed her to physically transition into the woman she is today.
Whereas a 22 year old transgender woman in Ho Chi Minh City said she buys hormone from a trader in District 6 and she injects by herself without help because she doesn’t want to show up in a medical clinic.
The costs of black market hormones vary widely. A trader advertised three pills at the price of VND140,000 a vital adding that all are German-made pills. In the black market, there are oral hormone such as OC-35 and Beviz.
Volunteer Tran Le Minh Uyen from the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) said many transgender people inject hormone by themselves. Many of them died or faced health problem for buying illegal drug.
For instance, 25 year old T.H in HCMC suffered abscess after hormone shot and the incident leaves a big scar on the body. Lately, a transgender people died after hormone shot because of shock, said Uyen.
Moreover, Dinh Thi Thu Thuy from the Health Ministry's Department of Legal Affairs said that there has been no law to support transgender people but there have been law for HIV people while the number of transgender people and those who want to make a transition is more than people living with HIV.
She added that lawmakers are working on the matter and expecting to receive more opinions from the LGBT community.
Furthermore, there has been no health law to protect special people in Vietnam.
According to SCDI’s latest study on female transgender people in HCMC, 45 percent of them find it hard to have employment, 13 percent live on prostitution, 23 percent are forced to have sex and 16 percent suffer sex assaults.
Additionally, people make fun of transgender people; therefore, there should be a law to protect special people.

By KIM HUYEN - Translated by ANH QUAN

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