Information/prevention program on HIV and STI directed to transgender community

Published: August 1, 2008

Information/prevention program on HIV and STI directed to transgender community

Background: Arcat,a non-profit organization created in 1985,offers a global support to people suffering from HIV or chronic hepatitis. Arcat is increasingly requested by the Latin American transgender population living in Paris and its suburbs. This population is considered particularly at risk, they prostitute themselves and they often not go to see the doctor for fear of discrimination and misunderstood. Since 2001 Arcat leads an information and prevention program to reduce the risk of infection and to promote access to the cares and information on more appropriates cares.

Methods: action consisted in individual prevention interviews, with information leaflets (on HIV, sexually transmitted disease, instructions to the use of condoms, social benefits..).Condoms and lubricant gel are handed out during these actions that take place all through the year:
– in the places where prostitution is known through a system of a bus tour around woods near Paris. Because of the reinforcement of police forces, this population has been forced to move out of the centre of Paris. This action is made in collaboration with an organization “les amis du bus des femmes” acting for sex workers community-
-In an office located near places of prostitute activity in Paris.
A spanish speaking psychologist and an animator from Argentina lead these actions:

Results: 211 transgenders benefited from these interviews and approximately 20 were referred to social services in hospitals and specialised consultancy.

Conclusions: Transgenders often show a delay in their access to care regarding health issues. A document specific to the transgender population is in progress.
They present 3 major risks linked to their risked behaviour regarding STI, HIV/Aids, their fear of discrimination that makes prevention and care difficult, and lastly the lack of specific care system for this population.
These aims are therefore followed by Arcat as part of the national recommendations for support to this population.

-Full abstract available at link below-

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