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PACHA Releases Recommendations to Curb Spread of HIV/AIDS Among Transgender People

April 9, 2013

PACHA Releases Recommendations to Curb Spread of HIV/AIDS Among Transgender People. Image from

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Recently the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) released recommendations on how to address the high rates of HIV/AIDS among transgender communities.

The fifteen recommendations are derived from the ways that discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people drives HIV transmission and risk behaviors for contracting the disease. For instance, because transgender individuals can be legally refused services in hospitals and health care settings (indeed, only 16 states have non-discrimination protections for gender identity/expression), they are less likely to seek or obtain preventative or continual care that could test and treat for HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions.

Additionally, because transgender people are largely unprotected in education, employment, housing, and public accommodations, (this includes you, New York! Pass GENDA Now!) this population is less likely to have steady employment/income and are therefore more likely to utilize "underground economies" such as sex work and are at high risk for incarceration. These factors drive transgender individuals risk for HIV/AIDS. What's more is that transgender women and transgender people of color are especially at risk for HIV infection.

To help curb the disease among transgender individuals, PACHA's recommendations include:

  • Dedicating specific funds to transgender health and HIV prevention (this recommendation is huge, as the National HIV/AIDS strategy initiatives don't clearly differentiate between transgender people and MSM)
  • Develop a specific protocol in the Indian Health Service (IHS) for Two-Spirit and gender diverse Native Americans, including HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and outreach
  • Have the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) address HIV/AIDS transmission risk with drug use and black market hormone injections
  • Include transgender and/or gender identity on federal surveys to better understand how unemployment, lack of insurance, socioeconomic status, and race influence HIV risk and prevalence among transgender individuals.
  • Require all federal agencies responsible for implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to be culturally competent in delivering services to transgender and gender non-conforming people.
  • Require facilities and providers receiving any federal funding from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to undergo staff trainings on transgender cultural competency.

You can read the full recommendations here.

Let's hope that these recommendations come to fruition to stop the marginalization and health disparities of transgender and gender non-conforming people.

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This article was provided by Housing Works. It is a part of the publication Housing Works AIDS Issues Update. Visit Housing Works' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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