Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County is promoting National Transgender HIV Testing Day (NTHTD), which is observed each year on April 18. This is a time to recognize the importance of routine HIV testing and status awareness, as well as HIV prevention and patient-centered care for transgender and gender non-binary people. Transgender refers to people whose gender identity or expression is different from their assigned sex at birth.

In 2022, it was estimated that around 1.6 million people ages 13 and over identified as transgender in the United States. Transgender women have 49 times the odds of having HIV compared to the general population. In Ohio, there were 897 new diagnoses of HIV reported in 2020. Of these, three percent (3%), (24) were among transgender persons.

Factors such as transphobia (negative ideas and feelings about transgender people), result in discrimination, limited work opportunities, reduced access to healthcare services, legal barriers, and challenges with mental health. All these factors influence behaviors that increase the risk of HIV, including not using condoms for anal (receptive) sex, transactional sex (giving and/or receiving gifts, money, or services in exchange for sex), and sharing needles for hormone injections. The already existing HIV-related stigma, coupled with negative attitudes towards transgender people, continue to create barriers for accessing HIV testing and quality treatment services.

“Public Health is working toward inclusive and supportive healthcare options for transgender people in our community,” said Richelle Frabotta, LGBTQ+ Health Initiatives Project Manager for Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. “Locally, in Ohio, and nationally, people are talking about gender more than ever. And although some seek to decrease access to health care for Transgender “T” identified youth and adults, Public Health is dedicated to ensuring Trans individuals have the care and support they need.”

The Ohio HIV/AIDS Prevention Committee (HAPC) of region 9 (Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, and Preble Counties), is committed to providing culturally responsive HIV services including HIV testing, counseling, PrEP medication, HIV specialty care, trans-health, women’s health and more. On this day, the committee is asking everyone to get educated, get tested and get treated!

In recognition of NTHTD, the HAPC is hosting a free HIV testing and resource fair on Saturday, April 15 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Dayton LGBT Center - 24 N Jefferson St #200, Dayton, OH 45402. Call (937) 496-7133 for more information.

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