Edge Media Network has highlighted policy brief “Transgender women and pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention: What we know and what we still need to know” as one of the most important women’s health stories of 2016. The brief was released last winter by the National Center for Innovation in HIV Care—a program of The Fenway Institute, AIDS United, and ARCW. In it, researchers explored the interaction between feminizing hormones used by transgender women, and the medication currently approved for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention (PrEP). The brief also brought attention to the urgent need for more lifesaving research on PrEP for transgender women, and encourages transgender women to ask their providers for information on starting PrEP for HIV prevention.
Transgender women are at a disproportionately high risk of contracting HIV – they are a startling 49 times more likely to have HIV than the general population. Globally, approximately 20 percent of transgender women are living with HIV. There are further disparities for black transgender women, who are three times more likely than White and Latina transgender women to be living with HIV.
“Transgender women are a priority population in HIV prevention and treatment, and need to be a priority population in PrEP research,” said Sean Cahill, PhD, co-author of the issue brief and Director of Curriculum and Policy at the National Center for Innovation in HIV Care. “More research is needed to demonstrate that PrEP is effective for transgender women and to better understand any interaction between PrEP and feminizing hormones. In the meantime, PrEP is a prevention option that transgender women should consider in consultation with their medical providers.”
The full brief is available here.
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