Effective peer based outreach: making the difference in HIV prevention intervention for hijra (transgender)
Issues: Even though outreach workers in transgender program in Bangladesh are knowledgeable, skillful and hardworking, the rate of condom use is still remaining very low and the prevalence of active syphilis is 5.2% in central area (6th round sero-surveillance, 2005). This indicates a clear high risk in their sexual behavior which might requires expert review for positive changes.
Lessons learned: UNICEF-HAPP team organized Peer education training for master trainers in all of its program areas who will be providing center based training for all Outreach worker/Peer Educators in Hijra/transgender projects. Significant changes in approach and attitude are already seen in most of the Peer Educators. They are now working with more ownership and confidence. This seems to be more effective in future HIV program with transgender population.
Next steps: From the lessons learnt, an effective HIV program for transgender must requires very strong OUTREACH WORK which basically contributes to the major components such as, Behavior change communication, STI management and Condom promotion in order to increase the consistent condom use.
-Abstract can be found at link below-