Yale University

Exploring Transgender Women’s Perceptions of E-Health Technology for Sexual Health Care Support

Principle Investigator(s):

Funder: Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS)
Project period: 05/06/2019 - 05/31/2020
Grant Type: Research

Abstract Text:

Transgender women are an underserved population, not only in terms of HIV treatment, but also in terms of HIV prevention and interventions. Compared to other adults at reproductive age, the odds of HIV acquisition are 34 times higher among transgender women, with the primary mode of transmission being condomless anal sex. Effective combinations of evidence-based HIV prevention approaches include HIV Testing and linkage to care, antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV (e.g. pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis), consistent condom use, and regular STI screening and treatment. In addition, transgender women have been grouped under the umbrella of men who have sex with men in most HIV prevention interventions, which is both inaccurate and limiting in addressing their health needs and concerns. This discordance highlights the need for research to better understand both transgender women’s sexual risk behaviors, and the protective factors that would support HIV prevention practices. In addition, with these recent biomedical advances in HIV prevention there are some key behavioral issues (e.g. condom use, medication adherence, regular HIV testing) that can be addressed through eHealth applications. Effective eHealth interventions that address the full range of risk factors and health concerns are needed to improve the health of transgender women.