YTH provides an update on trans health and their 2016-2017 ACIOP resource app, they2ze, designed to help transgender-spectrum youth access services for their health.
YTH’s project they2ze is timely, particularly with the increased attention on transgender-spectrum rights (see the recent fights for bathroom access and the violence committed against trans persons of color). Trans-spectrum people include those whose gender identity does not match the sex assigned to them at birth, including but not limited to trans women (those who are assigned male at birth but identify as women), trans men (those who are assigned female at birth but identify as men), and genderqueer individuals (those who identify as any combination of women and men, and whose sex assigned at birth could be either male or female). (For more information, consult the online course, Acknowledging Gender and Sex, developed by the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California San Francisco.
Trans-spectrum people continue to face disproportionate rates of many health issues, largely due to transphobic societal institutions and beliefs. In terms of health issues, the HIV epidemic among trans-spectrum people in the Bay Area is a well-documented one. Despite current advances in PrEP (truvada), HIV care, and the success of the San Francisco model, trans-spectrum individuals are still disproportionately impacted by HIV and are underserved in many health issues.
Trans women of color are at particularly high risk for HIV–the CDC reported that 58% of African-American trans women and 15% of Latina trans women were living with HIV between 2009-2014, and other reports state that an estimated 11%-78% of trans women in San Francisco are living with HIV. Less is known about trans men and HIV rates, largely due to trans men being left out of research and trials. Preliminary evidence shows that trans men who sleep with non-trans men may be at high risk for HIV. Trans-spectrum youth also face particular challenges—they rely on guardians for access to health services, hormones, and gender confirmation surgeries, and family is not always supportive.
“Trans youth and their providers often work in a vacuum with few other colleagues, peers or mentors who can give them information on where to find social and medical services by trusted and experienced providers,” said Erin Wilson, PhD, Principal Investigator of the trans health project The SHINE Study at SFDPH. “In a world with endless search pages, I’m so excited to say that YTH has worked in collaboration with community to develop they2ze. This resource promises to be a game changer in connecting providers to one another and youth to the best people to serve them.”
The downloadable version of they2ze is available on both the iTunes store and Google Play store.