**Are you a Trans person living with HIV? CLICK HERE to take the Postitively Trans (T+) Survey today in English or Spanish or go to TinyURL.com/OAGFZZC**
This summer the Transgender Law Center launched Positively Trans (T+), a constituent-led project that draws on the power of community storytelling to examine the social and political landscape for HIV+ Trans men and women across the country. Developed and directed by Senior Strategist Cecilia Chung, theproject takes the form of an online needs assessment survey, and was launched with the support of the Elton John Foundation (who also fund WWAV’s program BLAC: The Black LGBTQ Action Coalition) and in partnership with a National Advisory Board of community leaders (including BreakOUT!’s Milan Sherry) in response to inequities, stigma and discrimination that HIV+ Trans people face, “T+ seeks to mobilize and promote resilience of trans people most impacted by or living with HIV/AIDS, particularly trans women of color, through research, policy advocacy, legal advocacy, and leadership strengthening. The findings will ultimately inform the prioritization of needs, strategic planning and advocacy efforts.”
The Transgender Law Center’s Positively Trans Needs Assessment Survey is open to Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people who are living with HIV and calls on them to “share their experiences with barriers, discrimination, and violence in health care, housing, employment, relationships, and community”. Once the survey is complete, survey takers will have the option of entering a drawing for 8 Visa gift cards valued at $50, $100 or $200! The survey is available in English and Spanish.
The Trans community in the United States is disproportionately impacted by HIV and, within this group, young Black Trans women find themselves especially vulnerable. These numbers below provided by the CDC show how crucial a survey such as Positively Trans is in the HIV landscape both in terms of voicing the realities of those still impacted and in finding out how to best address the treatment and prevention needs of the Trans-community across the country:
- In 2010, more than half of the HIV testing events among transgender people occurred at non-healthcare facilities (55.1%).
- Among transgender people in 2010, the highest percentages of newly identified HIV-positive test results were among racial and ethnic minorities: blacks/African Americans comprised 4.1% of newly identified HIV-positive test results, followed by Latinos (3.0%), American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (both 2.0%), and whites (1.0%).
- In New York City, from 2007-2011, there were 191 new diagnoses of HIV infection among transgender people, 99% of which were among transgender women. The racial/ethnic disparities were large: approximately 90% of transgender women newly diagnosed with HIV infection were blacks/African Americans or Latinos. Over half (52%) of newly diagnosed transgender women were in their twenties. Also, among newly diagnosed people, 51% of transgender women had documentation in their medical records of substance use, commercial sex work, homelessness, incarceration, and/or sexual abuse as compared with 31% of other people who were not transgender.
- Findings from a meta-analysis of 29 published studies showed that 27.7% of transgender women tested positive for HIV infection (4 studies), but when testing was not part of the study, only 11.8% of transgender women self-reported having HIV (18 studies). In one study, 73% of the transgender women who tested HIV-positive were unaware of their status. Higher percentages of newly identified HIV-positive test results were found among black/African American transgender women (56.3%) than among white (16.7%) or Latino (16.1%) transgender women; and self-reported HIV infection in studies made up of predominantly of black/African American transgender women (30.8%) was higher than positivity reported in studies comprising mainly white transgender women (6.1%). Studies also indicate that black transgender women are more likely to become infected with HIV than non-black transgender women.
- A review of studies of HIV infection in countries with data available for transgender people estimated that HIV prevalence for transgender women was nearly 50 times as high as for other adults of reproductive age.
To find out more about how the Trans community is impacted by HIV globally, check out this Issue Brief created by am FAR on HIV+ Trans people.
If you are a Trans identified person living with HIV in New Orleans or the surrounding area, consider taking the Positively Trans Survey today at TinyURL.com/OAGFZZC !