April 18 marks the National Transgender HIV Testing Day—a day which brings awareness to the impact of HIV on the trans and gender non-conforming community. Across the nation, community and health organizations will honor the day by focusing HIV testing and other HIV services on a community that is disproportionately affected by HIV.
At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we realize that one day is not enough when it comes to protecting and caring for our transgender and gender non-binary community. Along with partner organizations in San Francisco that focus exclusively on providing trans-specific health care, San Francisco AIDS Foundation offers a variety of health services for our trans community members every day of the year.
Our TransLife community program (which you can read more about in this article) provides a safe space for trans clients and their allies to learn about HIV care and prevention, discuss topics of concern, and socialize with each other every week. Our PrEP Health Program welcomes trans clients who are interested in this method of HIV prevention. Other community groups including Bridgemen, Positive Force, and the Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network are open to transgender men, and our substance use services through the Stonewall Project are also available to transgender men.
Recently, our Magnet sexual health services expanded services to transgender men after our community advisory board identified service expansion to the trans community as a priority. Our clinical staff developed protocols, obtained new clinical equipment, and attended trainings to be able to provide appropriate sexual health services to transgender men so that we can fulfill Strut’s mission of promoting gay, bi, and trans men’s health.
Importantly, we’re working across the organization to make sure that the spaces we inhabit are friendly and accessible to people across the gender spectrum. Our bathrooms are gender-neutral, we are creating a culture where preferred pronouns are being asked, and staff received training on creating trans-affirming spaces as part of our recent all staff training day. We never make assumptions about people’s preferred gender pronouns, their gender identity, or what services they need.
If you’re interested in find out more about how San Francisco AIDS Foundation is serving the trans community, continue reading this article about our TransLife program.
The best way to fight HIV is to know your status. A simple test can determine if you are infected with the virus.
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