Researchers at the Brown University School of Public Health have just published a study, “Prioritizing HIV Services for Transgender Women and Men Who Have Sex With Men in Manila, Philippines” in the Journal of Association of Nurses in AIDS Care about the perspectives and confidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care providers in Manilla, Philippines when it comes to providing HIV services to transgender women (TW) and cisgender men who have sex with men (cis-MSM). The study was led by Ms. Arjee Javellana Restar, a doctoral candidate in the Behavioral and Social Sciences department along with co-investigators, professor in behavioral and docial Sciences, Dr. Don Operario, and director of Brown Global Health Initiative, Dr. Susan Cu-Uvin.
15 qualitative interviews were conducted between July and August 2017 of HIV health care providers in Manila, Philippines. In general, providers expressed a willingness to provide care to TW and cis-MSM, but lacked knowledge about the health needs of these communities. They also were hesitant to provide care due to a lack of training in delivering services to this population and expressed difficulty in navigating issues around patient gender and sexual identities. However, providers did express that they wanted to improve on providing these services to TW and cis-MSM.
The findings suggest an opportunity to have provider-focused interventions to improve training of service delivery to the needs of these communities. They also suggest specific service programs be designed to target transgender women and MSM, that the needs of this population are incorporated into healthcare trainings. Moreover, an implication of their findings is the need for greater support in the health care workforce labor, and that provision of these services requires health care facilities to be adequately staffed and resourced.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 18