The Impact of Exposure to Transphobia on HIV Risk Behavior in a Sample of Transgendered Women of Color in San Francisco
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This study examined the relationship between exposure to transphobia—societal discrimination and stigma of individuals who do not conform to traditional notions of gender—and risk for engaging in unprotected receptive anal intercourse (URAI) among 327 transgendered women of color. Overall, 24% of participants had engaged in URAI at least once in the past 30 days. Individuals who self-identified as pre-operative transsexual/transgendered women were significantly more likely than self-identified females to have engaged in URAI. Although exposure to transphobia was not independently related to URAI, an interaction between age and experiencing discrimination was observed. Among transgendered women 18–25 years old, those reporting higher levels of exposure to transphobia had a 3.2 times higher risk for engaging in URAI compared to those reporting lower levels. Findings from this study corroborate the importance of exposure to transphobia on HIV risk, particularly among transgendered young adults.
KEY WORDS:Transgendered HIV risk unprotected sex transphobia discrimination.
The authors would like to thank everyone who assisted in the research study including the study participants, community collaborators, outreach workers, health educators, and health professionals who provide services to transgendered women. In addition, the authors would like to thank Tor Neilands for his statistical expertise. This research was funded by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (Grant R01 DA11589) to Tooru Nemoto, Principal Investigator.
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