By Russell Etherton, Community Relations Manager – Montrose
Tomorrow, April 18th is National Transgender HIV Testing Day in the United States. Organizations, advocacy groups, and local community leaders around the country use this day to highlight the continued need for routine HIV testing, status awareness and HIV prevention in transgender communities. The transgender community is disproportionally impacted by HIV because of social stigma and cultural factors that foster exclusion, misinformation, and discrimination.
According to the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, there are an estimated 1.4 million adults who identify as transgender living in the United States today. Data and research shows that transgender women are at higher risk of contracting HIV and that transgender women of color, especially black/African American and Hispanic/Latina women, experience disproportionately high rates of HIV. Data show that 56% of African-American transgender women last year were living with HIV. Many don’t have a primary care relationship with a medical home.
For our part, in 2016, Legacy Community Health launched its ‘Gender Health and Wellness’ service line to be a pillar of medical care here in Texas for the transgender community. On April 18th Legacy Montrose and Beaumont will be participating in National Transgender HIV Testing Day and will provide HIV testing and counseling at both clinics. Come get tested.