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  • Friday, June 17, 2016
  • 0706-000827 Poster 122 - COMMUNITY-BASED MOBILISATION IN TRANS-WOMEN POPULATIONS, AND THE NEED OF EARLY HIV SCREENINGS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    June 20, 2016 8:00 AM - June 20, 2016 6:00 PM

    • Robert Paulino-Ramirez, MD ;
    • ROSA MAYRA RODRIGUEZ-LAUZURIQUE, MSC ;
    • Stephania Hernandez

    Purpose

    Among the most-at-risk populations, male-to-female transgender or Transgender Women (TW) individuals are at higher risk for HIV infection. Studies has been consistent in reporting high rates of HIV infections[1], factors associated to this misbalanced relationship includes social exclusion, stigma, lack of healthcare attention, lower sexual transmitted diseases (STIs) early screening, and sexual orientation-based discrimination in healthcare settings [2],[3], [4].  The objective of this study was to evaluate the key barriers of retention in care of HIV (+) transgender women.

    Materials and Methods

    Transgender-women were identified on an individual basis (One-on-One), and invited to participate in community-based talks in three different communities in the capital city (Santo Domingo), and the outskirts of the city. In each community personal information of all the participants (including phone numbers) was collected, and located in Men who have sex with Men (MSM) or Trans-Women, based on their self-identification. In each community a “leader” was assigned for a proper follow-up and retention. After each talk we invited all the participants to a local HIV clinic for a free HIV test. In the clinic we collected epidemiological data, and updated all the personal information from each one. After blood sampling all the participants remained in the clinic’s waiting room for HIV lab results, and post-counselling.  

    Results

    We invited  a total of 228 participants, of those only 200 (87.7%) went back to the clinic for HIV testing. Of those 62 were TW, and 9 were HIV positive (14.5%) (Figure 1). None of them knew their HIV status at the baseline visit. In 59 of them this were their first HIV test (95.16%) including those that were positive. In the epidemiological data we found that 72.6% were sexual workers (n=45). We contacted 28 of those that attended the talks but never attend to the clinic for testing, and they referred that they were no longer interested in HIV testing (28.6% (n=8); not having the economical resources for transportation (64.28%  (n=18), or they were afraid of an HIV (+) result (7.14% (n=2) (Table 1).

    Conclusion

    The fact that 14.5% of TW were positive in their first HIV test represents a similar HIV seroprevalence in our population (CONAVIHSIDA, 2012 14-69%). Furthermore, 72.6% referred being sexual workers representing a risk for HIV acquisition. The leader and community-based mobilisation strategy demonstrated being effective in retention rate (87.7%), and increase of HIV testing (100%), despite the fact that only 200 returned to the clinic, we were able to contact all the participants, and 64.28% were not able to come due to economical reasons, but still willing to being tested. 




    Category: Public Health, Sexual Health, and HIV/STIs