Housing as a structural intervention for transgender and gender non-conforming PLWHA: Promoting positive health behaviors
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 4:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Significance: Due to a complex risk environment, transgender people (TG) have high rates of both homelessness and HIV infection (Operario & Nemoto, 2010). Previous research has examined reasons for high rates of homelessness (Mottet & Ohle, 2003) and HIV (Garafolo et al., 2006) in transgender populations, however, no study to the author's knowledge has examined housing as a structural intervention for transgender people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) or the mechanisms through which stable housing influences risk behaviors and health choices. Methods: 30 semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents in a low-threshold, use-tolerant, scatter-site transitional housing program that is specifically tailored to support previously homeless or unstably housed TG and gender non-conforming (GNC) PLWHA. Participants were asked about their housing and HIV health experiences. Thematic analysis was employed. Results: Housing's effect on health behaviors is mediated by positive material and subjective changes (Fishbein & Azjen, 1975) in the lives of TG and GNC PLWHA. Housing's materiality effect is produced by: a) Reducing exposure to risk environment b) Reducing chaos in living situation c) Access to trans-competent services. Subjective changes were realized through the development of a supportive TG and GNC community which fostered positive health choices by a) changing attitudes about HIV health among program participants b) establishing health-seeking collective norms, and c) improving health related self-efficacy. Conclusions: Housing specifically tailored to the needs of people of TG and GNC experience should be conceptualized as an effective treatment for homeless transgender people living with HIV/AIDS.
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the effects of housing as a structural intervention on the health behaviors of transgender and gender non-conforming PLWHA. Describe the low-threshold, use-tolerant, scatter-site transitional housing program model for TG and GNC PLWHA. Identify the material and subjective pathways which mediate the relationship between housing and health behavior.
Keyword(s): Housing, HIV/AIDS
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a trained social worker with four years of direct practice experience working with vulnerable populations. I serve as a research coordinator for a series of funded research projects examining housing as a structural intervention for people living with HIV/AIDS. I am currently a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania doctoral program in social welfare.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.