Trans beauty queen raises HIV awareness

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Jazell Barbie Royale, 31, made history as the first woman of African descent to win the 2019 crown at the Miss International Queen in Thailand earlier this year. This is the most prestigious beauty pageant for trans women in the world, but the winner treats her crown like a tool, not a goal. Her actual goal is to educate people about HIV issues, and winning the contest just gave her a spotlight to do it. Speaking to The Advocate at the pageant, Royale said: “Now my platform will be even larger and I’ll be able to educate people from around the world about HIV, PEP, PrEP, and how they can apply the facts to their lives.” She added: “HIV is really rampant, especially among trans people. I most wanted to spread the word about PrEP and PEP.” She explained that HIV took lives of her close friends, so this problem touches her deeply. “If you’re HIV-negative and [at risk], you need to be taking PrEP to keep yourself that way. If you’re positive, get into treatment – if your viral load is undetectable, you can’t pass the virus. If you’re undetectable, you can live a long life. You don’t have to go through complications if you take this one pill,” she added

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