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13 February 2017, 11:00
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More PrEP awareness needed for transgender women

More PrEP awareness needed for transgender women - picture 1

The Journal of Adolescent Health has published a new study regarding the awareness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among young transgender women (YTW). The study was performed by a group of scientists from the University Of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine, Philadelphia.

As a part of the study the investigators conducted interviews with 25 YTW between 17- and 24-years-old, who were of either HIV-negative or unknown HIV status. 64% of participants had prior awareness of PrEP and 28% of participants also reported current use or intent to use PrEP.

The study also revealed that transgender women often experience stigma, employment discrimination, and violence, which often lead to participation in sex work, economic marginalization, homelessness, and poor access to gender-affirming healthcare. The estimated HIV prevalence in this population ranges from 5% to 22%, and they are much more likely than other adults of reproductive age to acquire HIV. This highlights the importance of improving PrEP awareness among YTW.

“A key challenge in PrEP implementation involves increasing knowledge and uptake in populations at highest risk of HIV acquisition,” Sarah M. Wood, MD said.