Related Resources from Other PEPFAR Partners

Gender Identity and Violence in MSM and Transgenders: Policy Implications for HIV Services

After 26 years of grappling with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, providers, researchers, and policymakers understand that social discrimination is connected to HIV risk, vulnerability, and access to care and prevention. Unfortunately, around the world, men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender persons (TG) often face stigma, discrimination, poverty, violation of human rights, homophobia, and heterosexism. Law enforcement and healthcare providers often perpetrate widespread corruption, intimidation, and harassment against gay men, MSM, and TG, thus hindering them from accessing services. Similarly, the rates of violence among MSM and TG, particularly those engaging in sex work, are alarming. There are no established guidelines for determining whether a particular health service setting is ready to work with MSM and TG to address issues of violence and S&D. Given the special considerations and sensitivities in working with MSM and TG, however, the most ethically sound approach requiring the fewest reforms would be constructing a pilot intervention to assess for violence in specialized STI clinics and/or community-based organizations (CBOs) accustomed to providing HIV/AIDS services for these groups.