Reducing HIV Risk among Transgender Women in Thailand: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of the Sisters Program.

Published: October 29, 2013

 Abstract

 
Transgender women are particularly at risk of HIV infection, but little evidence exists on effective HIV prevention strategies with this population. We evaluated whether Sisters, a peer-led program for transgender women, could reduce HIV risks in Pattaya, Thailand. The study used time-location sampling to recruit 308 transgender women in Pattaya into a behavioral survey in 2011. Coarsened exact matching was used to create statistically equivalent groups of program participants and non-participants, based on factors influencing likelihood of program participation. Using multivariable logistic regression, we estimated effects of any program participation and participation by delivery channel on: condom use at last sex; consistent condom and condom/water-based lubricant use in the past 3 months with commercial, casual, and regular partners; and receipt of HIV testing in the past 6 months. Program coverage reached 75% of the population. In a matched sub-sample (n?=?238), participation in outreach was associated with consistent condom/water-based lubricant use with commercial partners (AOR 3.22, 95% CI 1.64-6.31). Attendance at the Sisters drop-in center was associated with receiving an HIV test (AOR 2.58, 95% CI 1.47-4.52). Dedicated transgender-friendly programs are effective at reducing HIV risks and require expansion to better serve this key population and improve HIV prevention strategies. 
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