Forms of Safety and their Impact on Health: An Exploration of HIV/AIDS-related Risk and Resilience among Trans Women in Lebanon

Published: March 4, 2014


Using minority stress theory, the authors’ purpose was to understand risk behaviors of transgender women (trans women) in Lebanon. Using semi-structured interviews, six areas were explored: Relationships with family and friends; Openness about gender and sexuality; Experiences with stigma; Sexual behavior; Attitudes and behaviors regarding HIV testing; and Perceived HIV-related norms among transgender peers. Participants voiced the importance of different forms of safety: social/emotional, physical, sexual, and financial safety. Strategies for obtaining safety were negotiated differently depending on social, behavioral, and structural factors in the environment. In this paper, we provide study findings from the perspectives of trans women, their exposure to stigma, and the necessary navigation of environments characterized by transphobia.
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