According to a study at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the statistics of HIV in transgender women are strikingly higher than in the rest of the population. Given that transgender people are more at risk for depression, suicide and bullying at the hands of others, this number is yet another reason why more advocacy and awareness must be raised to help the trans* community.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Stefan Baral, director of the key populations programs in the Center for Public Health and Human Rights, analyzed several studies regarding HIV infection among the female transgender population in over 15 countries throughout approximately 10 years. They then compared these statistics to ones of people at comparable ages during the same years. Results revealed that transgender women are 48.8 times more likely to contract HIV than
The researchers additionally found that, of all the groups (such as sex workers, straight men, gay men, etc.), transgender women were the least likely to be studied despite having the highest rate of HIV. According to Baral, this may be due to bias against transgender people.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s been a priority for global funding entities to care about the needs of transgender communities,” he stated.
Unfortunately, the science community is no exception to the widespread discrimination that those who are trans* face every day. It’s deeply frustrating that some often don’t see — and this should really go without saying — transgender people are, indeed, people and deserve respect, care and kindness as much as anybody else. Hopefully, though, the more researchers examine how the transgender community is affected by these discriminatory attitudes, the more people will take notice and recognize the need for change on a large scale.