Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Supporting the Transgender Community

A significant number of transgender individuals live and work in the Chelsea/Clinton area. Many of them are sex workers who do not have access to health care services, that include services associated with gender transition. Multiple sexual contacts and self-administered hormone injections put this population at extremely high risk for HIV infection and reinfection.

PHP has developed one of the most comprehensive transgender harm reduction initiatives in the country. Our Transgender Initiative (TGI) employs transgender individuals to conduct outreach and provide services to transgender sex workers, substance users, and hormone injectors.

TGI distributes harm reduction materials that were created by transgender peer educators to teach safer injection practices to hormone users. It also runs support groups and syringe exchange hours exclusively for transgender individuals.

PHP's continued success in providing services to this extremely hard-to-reach and hard-to-retain population is attributable to its commitment to maximizing participant input. All transgender program services are the result of discussions between staff and transgender individuals.

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