Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
Home About us Ahead Of Print Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Editorial Board Login 
Users Online:1433
  Print this page  Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
 


 
Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 457-458
Addressing the public health challenge of HIV infection among the vulnerable population group of transgender: An urgent global need


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Addressing the public health challenge of HIV infection among the vulnerable population group of transgender: An urgent global need. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:457-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Addressing the public health challenge of HIV infection among the vulnerable population group of transgender: An urgent global need. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Oct 17];10:457-8. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/2/457/208710
Dear Editor,

Worldwide, HIV/AIDS continues to remain one of the significant public health concerns, with 34 million people losing their battle against the infectious disease, and almost 37 million people living with the infection by the end of 2014 across the globe.[1] Even though, the disease is not limited by any sociodemographic attributes, and affects people from all financial classes, still the risk of acquisition of infection is extremely high among transgender, especially among transgender women.[2] In-fact, the evidence reflects that transgender women are 49 times more likely to acquire the infection in comparison with the nontransgender male and female adults.[3] However, it will not be wrong to say that a major proportion of cases among transgender people often go unreported.[2],[3]

Transgender people have been acknowledged as one of the vulnerable groups, not only because of their involvement in high-risk behavior practices, but even due to their tendency to hide the truth because of transphobia (hiding their sex identity or sexual behavior from families, friends, and health care providers, etc.), or fear of stigma, violence, and expulsion from the society.[4],[5] This results in a deteriorating impact on their quality of life, physical and mental health indicators, and even the utilization of health care services.[4],[5] The issue becomes further complicated due to the lack of skilled health professional who can respond to the special needs of transgender people, policies that do not reinforce the concept of sex equality, poverty-induced stigma, and owing to the loopholes in the legal provisions.[4],[5],[6]

Realizing the magnitude of the problem and social aspects of the disease, the World Health Organization has released a set of guidelines to cover the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care aspects of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among transgender people.[1] In-fact, a series of recommendations has been proposed in 2016 to ensure that all the stakeholders are actively involved and the services are delivered in a transgender-friendly manner.[6] These guidelines are based on the principles of respecting human rights, promoting sex quality, ensuring access to quality-assured health care and justice, improving health literacy, providing integrated services, and encouraging the empowerment of community through their meaningful participation.[1],[6]

Moreover, the long-term success or improved uptake of the services will be determined by community empowerment and this can be ensured through systematically addressing the issue of discrimination, facilitating social movement, mobilization of resources, collaborating with trans-communities right from the planning phase, assigning responsibilities to transgender for the implementation of the programme, and strengthening of laboratory capacity.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6] In addition, interventions like offering surgical procedures, HIV-related services (condom promotion, discourage high-risk behaviors, offer preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis, voluntary HIV testing or self-testing, expand antiretroviral therapy, counseling to improve sexual-reproductive-mental health, etc.), social and behavioral interventions, adopt different modes of information technology, and strengthen the components of monitoring, supervision, and evaluation of existing services, is also expected to improve the overall uptake among transgender people.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7]

To conclude, the risk of HIV among transgender people is extremely high, and thus, there is an urgent need to respond to the special needs of this vulnerable group, so that the incidence of the infection can be minimized.

Acknowledgement

S.R.S. contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

P.S.S. contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

J.R. contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

 
   References Top

1.
World Health OrganizationHIV/AIDS: Fact sheet N°360; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/. [Last accessed on 22 April 2016].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Weissman A, Ngak S, Srean C, Sansothy N, Mills S, Ferradini L. HIV prevalence and risks associated with HIV infection among transgender individuals in Cambodia. PLoS One 2016;11:e0152906.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Baral S, Poteat T, Ströhmdahl S, Wirtz AL, Guadamuz TE, Beyrer C. Worldwide burden of HIV in transgender women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet 2013;13:214-22.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Logie CH, Newman PA, Weaver J, Roungkraphon S, Tepjan S. HIV-related stigma and HIV prevention uptake among young men who have sex with men and transgender women in Thailand. AIDS Patient Care STDS 2016;30:92-100.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Frye V, Wilton L, Hirshfied S, Chiasson MA, Usher D, Lucy D. “Just because it's out there, people aren't going to use it.” HIV self-testing among young, black MSM, and transgender women. AIDS Patient Care STDS 2015;29:617-24.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
UNDP, IRGT. A Global Network of Trans Women and HIV, UNFPA, UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, WHO, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, USAID. Implementing comprehensive HIV and STI programmes with transgender people: Practical guidance for collaborative interventions 2016 New York UNDP press 1-26.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Patel VV, Masyukova M, Sutton D, Horvath KJ. Social media use and HIV-related risk behaviors in young black and Latino gay and bi men and transgender individuals in New York City: implications for online interventions. J Urban Health 2016;93:388-99.  Back to cited text no. 7
    

Top
Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd floor, Ammapettai village, Thiruporur: Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.208710

Rights and Permissions




 

Top
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *


    References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed801    
    Printed17    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded18    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal