It’s hard to believe that just six years ago she was on death’s door, weighing 35 kilograms and with a CD4 protein count of seven (a person without the virus, by comparison, might have around 800).
Her first organization, Friends Forever, was formed 12 years ago, after she was diagnosed with HIV.
‘If you want to get a package from home, tell whoever is posting it to address you as a priest or nun’ he told me.
‘South American countries are super-religious and very superstitious so I had my post addressed to ‘Brother John’ and covered it in religious stickers and no-one ever touched it.’ Katie added: ‘When I needed a new bank card sent to me from the US, I got my Mum to send it in a Bible.’ Blasphemy or blessing? SALSANot being able to dance salsa is akin to having some sort of genetic deformity in South America, and you will be treated as such.
Mr Weiner is now set to face an inquiry by the Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives, which could recommend that he be reprimanded, fined, or even expelled if official resources were misused.
A Las Vegas Blackjack dealer claimed he had called her for phone sex from a congressional line, while a pornographic actress alleged he offered to have someone from his "team" help her prepare misleading responses to media enquiries.
In a tearful confession during a press conference on Monday night, Mr Weiner, who is facing calls to resign, said he had "inappropriate conversations" with six women over three years via Facebook, Twitter and telephone.
“Not because we want to do it,” she stresses, “but because we have to, to survive.” Consequently, her work to improve the lot of Peru’s trans community is about promoting economic independence, improving access to healthcare and building self-esteem among her peers.
Peruvian human rights activist Taki Robles is late for our meeting in the Lima suburb of Miraflores.
I chalk it up to Lima’s formidable rush hour, which lasts until well past sundown, but as I learn later, that’s not the case. When one finally stopped and Robles got in, the driver told her, “Sorry, but I was confused.” “Why? “No, I thought you were one of your friends offering me services.” In Peru, says Robles, who is transitioning from male to female, being trans is so closely associated with sex work it is a constant struggle just to get around.
There’s something about South America that retains a unique appeal for so many British backpackers.
Maybe it’s the cheap, cheerful and chilled lifestyle where the cities crawl at a leisurely pace and beers cost £1, or the breathtakingly diverse landscapes where you can scale glaciers, jungle, mountains and desert in the same week (Peru/Ecuador).