Biden's CDC gives $540,000 to previously undocumented trans sex worker from Argentina for 'trans outreach' on HIV

Cecilia Gentili, a trans-identified male, has also worked as a lobbyist.


The Center for Disease Control under the Biden administration has awarded $540,000 to a previously undocumented trans sex worker for "trans outreach" regarding HIV. 

Transgender Equity Consulting is run by Cecilia Gentili, who is a trans-identified male. Gentili's firm was given a grant of $540,000 for combating the HIV/AIDs epidemic in 2021, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. Gentill is also a former sex worker who lived illegally in the United States for 10 years.  

The firm offers materials for workshops and training, lobbying, as well as speaking events, among many others. Gentili has also worked as a lobbyist

Total funding is set to be paid out by 2026 and the firm has already received $360,000 from the CDC. 

Much of Gentili's activism has revolved around decriminalizing prostitution.  

"[What] we're advocating is decriminalization of two parties that agree to exchange sex, for money or for whatever they are exchanging it," Gentili told Law 360 for a report about a bill that would decriminalize the activity.  

"Sex work is a service," Gentili said. "Sometimes it's not even about the sex. Sometimes it's like supporting a person, you know, supporting somebody in other ways and listening to people." 

Trans Equity Consulting states that it aims to, "end stigma, uplift community and provide access to resources in real time to combat social determinants of health with an emphasis on healthcare access for black and Latinx transgender and queer communities." 

The grant was awarded during the time of Covid when some calls for "equity" in vaccine distribution led to some white people being denied access to them. The stated purpose of the grant is for "expanding the reach, building partnership engagement and cross-community support for the CDC's national communications plan" in relation to awareness of HIV and AIDs. 

Gentili previously served as the Director of Policy at Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which provides prevention and treatment for HIV and AIDs.  

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said that Gentili was undocumented instead of previously undocumented.

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