XIX International AIDS Conference

SUSA55 The Global Context of Transgender Health and HIV: A Community Driven Response
  Non-Commercial Satellite
Venue: Session Room 2
Time: 22.07.2012, 15:45 - 17:45
Co-Chairs: JoAnne Keatley, United States
Mauro Cabral, Argentina
Organiser: JoAnne Keatley, MSW Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, UCSF
Bias towards transgender women, sex workers and youth has resulted in significant HIV risk and vulnerability to negative health outcomes among these communities. As a result, transgender people consistently record high rates of HIV in many area of the world. Human rights abuses including discrimination and violence have driven many transgender people away from accessing necessary health and HIV-related services. Lack of legal recognition of gender identity and punitive laws that criminalize behaviors related to gender variance and sex work serve to exacerbate concentrated epidemics among transgender communities everywhere. This session aims to bring to attention to the unique HIV and health related needs of transgender communities, the legal barriers to effective AIDS responses and the lack of meaningful engagement of transgender people living with HIV. The discussion will help chart a course forward to help strengthen our understanding of co-occurring epidemics among transgender women, sex workers and youth worldwide.


The Need for Targeted Investments among Global Trans Communities

A. Sarkar, India


Effective Prevention Strategies for Transwomen living with or at risk for HIV

J. Villazan Aguilar, Peru


Best Practices for HIV Prevention among Trans populations

L. Gutierrez Mock, United States


Addressing HIV Risk among Trans Youth

E. Wilson, United States

Understanding Migration Issues and Patterns among Trans Communities

B. Salcedo, United States

Increasing Access to Competent Primary Care for Transgender People

A. Radix, United States

Powerpoints presentations
The Need for Targeted Investments among Global Trans Communities - Amitava Sarkar

Effective Prevention Strategies for Transwomen living with or at risk for HIV - Jana Villazan Aguilar

Best Practices for HIV Prevention among Trans populations - Luis Gutierrez Mock

Addressing HIV Risk among Trans Youth - Erin Wilson

Rapporteur report

Youth report by James Gray

The needs of transgender people within the global HIV epidemic remain largely unmet, although steps are being made to redress this. Issues including  social marginalization, violence, lack of access to basic services and substance use contribute to significantly higher rates of HIV and STIs and the current situation in India was presented to underscore this. In Peru, a recent study about access to services for people living with HIV found that the majority of transgender people surveyed have relatively low levels of education and employment, lack health insurance and often do not have access to documentation. Strategies for best practice among trans populations include grounding the work in the community, acknowledging the role of race and ethnicity, being culturally appropriate, increasing access to healthcare as well as developing and supporting staff.

For younger transgender people, the first phase of a new study in San Francisco explored issues of finding diverse role models, self-acceptance and coming out, difficulty finding sexual partners and trauma from experiences of violence. Structural issues including access lack of access to medical services and little support from family and institutions such as schools was also noted. Protective effects included parental support, having a job and access to gender related health care.

Many transgender come to the Unites States to escape stigma and violence, in the hope that the situation will be better there. Factors including language barriers, lack of documentation and the difficulty securing work mean that transgender migrants face significant challenges. Many barriers also exist within the health care system, including discrimination, disrespectful language and lack of appropriate provider knowledge. There were clear benefits to integrated HIV and transgender care services.

Discussion based off questions from the audience covered service capacity development, young people and migration, however a question about the lack of a single global voice for transgender people garnered the most debate. It was noted by the speakers that the diversity of transgender people meant that a single global voice was not reasonable and that those working on these issues internationally needed to make an effort to understand that complexity and engage with the existing organisations and networks.


    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.

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