New statistics suggest by CDC (2017) suggest that annual HIV infections declined in some populations, but increased in others. CDC estimated that the LGBTQ bore the greatest burden of the disease, representing an estimated 26,000 new HIV infections per year.
While research suggests that HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, or income, there’s evidence that transgenders might slightly be at a higher risk of contracting the infection as compared to others.
A 2017 paper used meta-analysis and synthesized national surveys to estimate that 1 million adults in the United States are transgender and of these 1 million, CDC reports 14% of transgender women to be HIV positive. Also, among the 3 million HIV testing events reported to CDC in 2017, the percentage of transgender people who received a new HIV diagnosis was 3 times the national average.
Research suggests that there are certain risk factors that are directly associated with transphobia and marginalization that transgender people face, leading to them indulging in risky behaviors.
UNFPA identifies transphobia as
“A prejudice directed at trans people because of their actual or perceived gender identity or expression.”
Many transgender people face stigma, discrimination, social rejection, and exclusion that prevent them from fully participating in society, including accessing health care, education, employment, and housing.
The answer is simple: AWARENESS!
- Offering education, employment and equal opportunities to transgenders.
- Having a robust law enforcement framework by the state to eliminate discrimination and combat violence against transgender.
- Discouraging hate speech motivated by bias against a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity while also penalizing people involved in hate speech on social media platforms.
- Criminalising offences committed on the basis of transphobic hatred, and make such motivation an aggravating circumstances like not offering equal opportunities.
- Providing special training to doctors, nurses and technicians involved in treating transgenders.
- Advocating transgender rights at the public facilities liek hospitals, schools and transport systems.
- Minimizing the costs for treatment of diseases such as HIV and making medication for HIV readily available.
- Building alliances involving civil society, governments, national human rights institutions, faith-based communities and the private sector can help build more inclusive societies where transgender persons can live freely, safely and be treated equally.
- Registering and reviewing complaints, providing legal advice to transgender complainants and encouraging them to choose lifestyles just like other genders.
- Providing education about safe sex and encouraging transgenders to seek medical support in case of any emergency.
- Making preventive care for transgenders readily available.
Lastly, showing Compassion.
Yes. You read that right.
- Support the adaptation of ‘gender-neutral’ restrooms
- Expose yourself to media discussing trans issues
- Speak up when someone makes jokes about gender identity
- Make an effort to avoid pronouns or terminologies that discriminate on the basis of gender
- Don’t ask about someone’s sexual orientation
- Don’t ask about someone’s status of transition—or what plans are being considered
- Don’t give unasked-for makeup or fashion advice