Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Prevention Projections for Community-based Organization (TranSafety Counts)

Principal Investigator: Cathy J. Reback, Ph.D.
Funded By: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Grant #: PS002439
Total Project Period: 8/10 – 6/15

Transgender women and substance-using MSM have a disproportionately high risk of HIV and viral hepatitis through drug use, sexual risk behaviors and, for transgender women, hormone misuse. Several co-factors contribute to HIV transmission risks among transgender women and substance-using MSM, including exchange sex, poverty, homelessness, incarceration, mental health issues, unemployment, STIs, stigma, homophobia and transphobia, racism, immigration status, language barriers, low educational attainment, violence and sexual assault. These co-factors increase HIV/hepatitis risks by diminishing their options for health-promoting behaviors. The TranSafety Counts program has adapted the evidence-based intervention (EBI) Safety Counts for high-risk transgender women in conjunction with Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services (CRCS) and Counseling, Testing and Referral (CTR) services to both transgender women and substance-using MSM. The TranSafety Counts program works with transgender women to reduce their risk of getting infected with or transmitting HIV and/or hepatitis. The program offers both one-on-one and group sessions in a warm and supportive setting. In the groups, participants learn about their risk of getting infected and/or transmitting HIV and hepatitis. Participants learn ways to protected themselves and the people they care about. TranSafety Counts offers two group sessions, one-on-one counseling, and a monthly social event. The objectives of the program are to: 1) decrease the acquisition and transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis; 2) increase the use of EBIs for HIV prevention; 3) increase outreach and education efforts for persons at high risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV and viral hepatitis; and 4) increase linkage to care, treatment, prevention, and other supportive services for persons living with HIV and persons at high risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV and viral hepatitis.