142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Thick Trust, Thin Trust, and HIV among Transwomen of Color in New York City

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Sel J. Hwahng, PhD , Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University/Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY
Bennett Allen, B.A. , Department of Psychology, New School for Social Research, New York, NY
Catherine Zadoretzky, M.A. , Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY
Hannah Barber, B.A. , School of Medicine, SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn, NY
Courtney McKnight, MPH , Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York, NY
Don C. Des Jarlais, PhD , Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York, NY
Introduction: African American and Latina transwomen (male-to-female transgender people) have been found to have very high HIV seroprevalence nationally, and in New York City almost half are HIV positive. Transwomen of color are in the midst of an HIV epidemic, and greater knowledge and understanding about transwomen of color social networks may provide relevant information towards more effective interventions and policies.

Methods: These data come from a mixed-methods study that examined low-income trans/gender-variant people of color who attended transgender support groups at harm reduction programs in New York City. The study was conducted from 2011-12, with a total N=34. The qualitative portion was derived from six focus group interviews that were audio-taped and transcribed. The quantitative portion was derived from a survey that was administered at the focus groups.

Results and Discussion: 45% were Latina, 39% were Black, 55% had a high school education or less, and 46% reported living with HIV. Membership in these support groups was often drawn from already-established social networks, and support groups also strengthened supportive connections between transwomen of color. Among two of the groups there was evidence of extremely strong connections that resembled alternative kinship structures. Concerns were frequently raised over experiencing structural and interpersonal violence and possible deportation. Social support was often in the form of “thick trust” (bonding/sharing) and “thin trust” (information dissemination). Both thick and thin trust relationships may provide opportunities for expanded HIV prevention. HIV prevention, however, needs to be implemented within other serious concerns of these transwomen.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss why transwomen of color in New York City are at such high risk for HIV infection. Describe the two transwomen of color social networks and why they were chosen as the focus of this presentation. Explain what “thick trust” and “thin trust” are and how they contribute to social support and resiliency within transwomen of color social networks.

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a Co-Investigator, Lead Interviewer, and Lead Analyst on this study. Additionally, I am public health behavioral and social science researcher with expertise in transgender and ethnic-minority health and HIV/STD risk behaviors.
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.

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