International Transgender Day of Visibility: trans people overlooked and misidentified in health data
On International Transgender Day of Visibility, the National AIDS Trust is calling for policy change to improve HIV prevention, treatment and care for trans* people in the UK.
The report reveals a shocking lack of knowledge within the health system of HIV in transgender communities. It is estimated that 19% of trans women worldwide are HIV positive. However, we know next-to-nothing about the impact of HIV on trans people living in the UK. Most of the data available are drawn from North America, and these show considerable variation. Research often concerns only trans women with little focus on trans men and even less on those outside binary gender categories.
NAT’s new report Trans* people and HIV explores the factors known associated with increased HIV risk for trans people, including risks associated with gender affirming medical procedures, the impact of transphobia on behaviour and mental health, barriers of access to health care, and the increased likelihood of trans people to engage in sex work.
Juno Roche, a writer and campaigner who is a trans woman living with HIV said: “We still do not yet fully collect two step data at sexual health care centres, GUM clinics or other NHS spaces; we ask people how they define now, but not if that definition differs from an applied birth identification. That matters terribly if we are to build local pictures of need and allocate accordingly.
“That simple step of putting mechanisms in place for people’s gender to be correctly recorded in healthcare systems will do far more than platitudes on this day.”
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT said: “Until people are no longer misgendered in the health system we will not have a clear picture of how many are living HIV, or indeed any condition. This problem is failing a group of people that we already know to face many inequalities in healthcare access and, indeed, in society at large.
“There is a lot more we could be doing in HIV organisations to recognise trans communities and to call for the same recognition elsewhere. While gathering better data collection and creating tailored interventions for trans people are not simple and straightforward, we need to begin this process and the report lays out some firm recommendations that we have developed alongside trans people and trans organisations.
“I hope that this report will be part of a trend for improving outcomes for trans people within healthcare and empowering trans communities.”
Case studies may be available. For interviews or further comment please email our Senior Communications Officer Charlie Alderwick on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7814 6727
Notes to editors:
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.