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Engagement in HIV Care Among New York City Transgender Women of Color: Findings from the Peer-Led, TWEET Intervention, a SPNS Trans Women of Color Initiative

  • S. HirshfieldEmail author
  • J. Contreras
  • R. Q. Luebe
  • J. A. Swartz
  • R. Scheinmann
  • C. J. Reback
  • J. B. Fletcher
  • K. A. Kisler
  • L. M. Kuhns
  • L. F. Molano
Original Paper
  • 32 Downloads

Abstract

Transgender women (TW) have higher HIV prevalence rates than cisgender (i.e., non-transgender) women. However, utilization of healthcare for transgender people in the U.S. is low. As part of a multisite initiative to facilitate entry and retention in HIV care for TW of color, we compared health outcomes between participants who became Peer Leaders and those who did not. From 2013 to 2016, 163 New York City, mostly Latina, TW enrolled in the Transgender Women Engagement and Entry to Care Project (TWEET). The TWEET intervention included peer-led, group-based educational sessions called Transgender Leader—Teach Back; 39% completed Peer Leadership requirements. Comparing pre-post change by Peer Leader status, Peer Leaders had a significant decrease in viral load and significant increase in CD4 at the last HIV care visit compared to the first. In multivariable logistic regression, predictors associated with Peer Leadership included having at least some college education, being in a relationship, stable housing, receiving legal assistance for political asylum, and having two or more HIV care visits during the intervention. Findings suggest that, for trans women who have completed at least secondary school education, participating in a peer-led intervention can lead to improved HIV care engagement. Understanding which program components lead to becoming a Peer Leader, and how to better engage non-Peer Leaders, are important next steps.

Keywords

Transgender Peer Leader Intervention Political asylum HIV 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This publication was made possible by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA; cooperative Agreement Number U90HA24973). This SPNS initiative was critical to the goal of improving health outcomes for TW of color living with HIV. Community Healthcare Network’s high level of commitment and community involvement also led to the success of this intervention. We would like to thank Ariana Beatty, Steven T. Houang, and Martin J. Downing for their assistance with research and data analysis. Note. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the Health Resources and Services Administration or the US Department of Health and Human Services.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineSUNY Downstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Community Healthcare NetworkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.AIDS Services of AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.Jane Addams College of Social WorkUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Population HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Friends Research Institute, IncLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.Division of Adolescent Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  8. 8.Department of PediatricsNorthwestern University, Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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