The Terrence Higgins Trust has launched two new guides with health and wellbeing advice for transgender people, the first guide of its kind in the UK.
Currently, research into transgender health is fairly patchy, however, there is a growing consensus that transgender people have a much higher risk of contracting HIV and other sexual diseases.
At this year's International AIDS Conference in Washington, delegates heard that as many as 68% of trans women (those labelled male at birth but who identify as female) in the US may be living with HIV, and in Europe it's estimated that between 11.5% and 57% have HIV. There is however a stark contrast in the UK, with only 0.5% of the British population being at risk, and 5% among gay and bisexual men.
Terrence Higgins Trust has produced two guides; one for trans women and another for transmen (those labelled female at birth but who identify as male), with the hope of improving the health of trans people living in the UK. The guides aim to provide trans people with information and advice on a number of issues, from how to guard against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, to more specific support for anyone considering or going through gender confirmation surgery – also known as gender reassignment surgery.
As well as this, both guides offer advice on broader wellbeing, including body image, disclosure and relationships.
Trans Awareness Facilitator at Terrence Higgins Trust, Michelle Ross said, 'It's becoming increasingly clear that trans people today face a range of issues that place them at increased risk of infection. We know, for example, that many trans people have ongoing problems around body image and self esteem, which can lead them to take serious risks with their health.'
'We are hugely proud of these new resources, and hope they will give more trans people – both here in the UK and further afield – the support and confidence they need to take control of their sexual health and live happier, healthier lives.'