HIV disproportionately impacts transgender women, especially transgender women of color. Twenty-five years of HIV prevention research, practice, and policy have not adequately produced evidence-based, effective prevention options for this population at disproportionately high risk for HIV acquisition and transmission. Social and contextual issues, such as severe stigma, discrimination, alienation, poverty, and victimization underlie many of the risk behaviors frequently reported among transgender women. Despite elevated risk for HIV, the rates of HIV testing among transgender women are lower than other at-risk groups, and our team's research with transgender women who test HIV-positive indicates unique barriers to treatment uptake and adherence, which puts them at elevated risk of poor HIV-related clinical outcomes.
There are currently very few available interventions specifically developed to meet the unique needs of high-risk transgender women that have been carefully evaluated in randomized controlled trials, especially those that are community-led and community-informed. To address this gap, in collaboration with communities and providers we are developing and evaluating innovative interventions that address the unifying lived experiences of trans women at risk for contracting or living with HIV.
Active Research Projects