The combination of culturally-relevant prevention case management, community building activities and OraSure testing proves effective for Native Hawaiian transgenders
C F O Odo
Ke Ola Mamo, Honolulu, United States
A major barrier encountered in the beginning of the program was AIDSphobia manifested in lack of client participation, especially in HIV testing..
During the first year (1998) of the three-year project, prevention case management services included general health assessment, HIV risk assessment, peer support groups, workshops on HIV prevention, and referral to employment, primary care, dental, welfare and other health and social services. In the second year and third years, community building activities began, with an emphasis on traditional Native Hawaiian sexuality, which included the acceptance of same-sex relationships and transgenderism. OraSure testing was introduced to the community at a statewide transgender retreat. There was no transgender participation in the program in the first three months of the first year, and only 5% of clients took advantage of transportion and escort to HIV testing services. At the end of the third year, over 200 transgender clients were case managed, and 37% were tested for HIV.
Several factors contributed to the increases in counseling and testing services: 1) hiring peer (Native Hawaiian) transgenders who are natural leaders; 2) the promotion of Native Hawaiian traditional culture in peer support and community-building activities; 3) implementation of OraSure at support groups events where peer support is strong; and 4) gaining the trust of Native Hawaiian transgenders.
Since AIDSphobia is still a barrier for many, a campaign to show the face of HIV to Native Hawaiian transgenders is needed. TG clients who are HIV positive should be encouraged to share their status to TGs in the state.
The XIV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. F12024
” C F O Odo , The combination of culturally-relevant prevention case management, community building activities and OraSure testing proves effective for Native Hawaiian transgenders . Print Only: The XIV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. F12024″