Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Issues Groundbreaking Resolution


The Transgender Law Center applauds the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) for passing a groundbreaking resolution recommending ways to address the high rates of HIV/AIDS among transgender communities throughout the United States. Recently made public, the resolution was passed in February.

Another Yin-Yang-Yuan TransGender-Symbol

Another Yin-Yang-Yuan TransGender-Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PACHA’s advice and recommendations are vitally important in assisting the White House to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. This resolution is groundbreaking in nature, as it is the first time PACHA has issued a transgender-specific set of recommendations.

“We’re incredibly grateful to PACHA for passing such a strong and compelling resolution,” said Cecilia Chung, Senior Strategist. “These recommendations, if implemented, will meet some of the dire needs of our community, which include data collection, education, and culturally competent prevention and care for transgender people, as our community continues to face extreme violence and discrimination which contribute to a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.”

Some of PACHA’s 15 recommendations include:

  • Relevant Health and Human Services (HHS) operating divisions should dedicate grant funds to projects specifically focusing on transgender health, particularly in the context of HIV prevention and treatment…;
  • The Indian Health Service (IHS) should develop a health services protocol specific to providing culturally and clinically appropriate care for male and female bodied, Two-Spirit individuals, including HIV prevention, education, outreach, and treatment;
  • And The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) should require facilities and providers receiving any federal funding to undertake regular staff trainings on transgender cultural competency.

The report “Injustice at Every Turn” is one of the few studies that has some data about transgender HIV rates. According to the report, the HIV sero-prevelance among transgender women in the U.S. is more than seven times the national average. The PACHA resolution notes that there is a lack of adequate data about transgender HIV risk and infection rates and recommends ways to collect it. It also points out that transgender people are protected from discrimination in the Affordable Care Act and lists ways to ensure agencies are aware of this and have adequate funding in place to care for transgender people.

Transgender Law Center works to educate legislators, policymakers, and advocates about the importance of addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the transgender community, and eliminating discriminatory barriers that transgender people face when attempting to access quality care. The staff has held meetings with personnel from HHC, HRSA, and the CDC to help educate them about the important issues addressed in the PACHA resolution.

Additionally, in collaboration with Lyon-Martin Health Services, Transgender Law Center has spearheaded Project HEALTH: Harnessing Education, Advocacy, and Leadership in Transgender Health. Since 2008, Project HEALTH has led a comprehensive effort to improve access to and quality of healthcare for transgender people throughout California, and increasingly in other regions as well. Project HEALTH has trained more than 60 students in professional health programs through a clinical rotation hosted at Lyon-Martin Health Services and provided administrative, cultural, and clinical training to more than 25 community clinics and hospitals. In September, Project HEALTH launched TRANSLINE, an online consultation service for healthcare professionals seeking help caring for transgender patients. The team of leading organizations and practitioners has responded to more than 70 requests since September, with a 100% satisfaction rating.

Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. http://www.transgenderlawcenter.org To learn more contact Mark Snyder,mark@transgenderlawcenter.org, 415.865.0176 ext. 310.