Risk Behaviors and Psychosocial Stressors in the New York City House Ball Community: A Comparison of Men and Transgender Women Who Have Sex with Men

Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, M/S E-46, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
AIDS and Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.49). 09/2009; 14(2):351-8. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-009-9610-6
Source: PubMed


The New York City House Ball community consists of social networks of racial/ethnic minority gay, lesbian or bisexual men and women, and transgender persons. HIV seroprevalence and interview data were obtained from a sample of community members to identify statistical differences in HIV prevalence, risk behavior, and psychosocial stressors between men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. Of 301 MSM and 60 transgender women, 20% were HIV-infected and 73% were unaware of their infection, but rates did not differ by gender. Risk behavior and stressors were common in both groups, but transgender women were more likely to report exchange sex, stigmatization, and stressful life events. High rates of risk behavior and HIV in this special community warrant relevant HIV testing and prevention services. Transgender women in the community may be at even greater risk for HIV infection due to behaviors compounded by substantial psychosocial stressors.

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Available from: Vincent Guilin, Oct 08, 2015
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    • "The term transgender, therefore, is referred to those individuals whose gender expression or identification does not coincide with the biological binary concept of sex. Most scientific dissertations focus on this phenomenon according to different paradigms, such as ethnology (Garfinkel, 1967), sociology (Connell, 2010, Richardson, 2007, Schilt and Westbrook, 2009), law (De Silva, 2007), medicine (Grella et al. 2000) and psychology (Salvini, 1999; Sanchez et al., 2010; Vanderburgh and Forshée, 2003). The various approaches investigate the gender identification process from an etiological (Westphal, 1869, Cauldwell, 1949), cognitive (Docter and Fleming, 2001), behavioural (Nuttbrock et al., 2009) or socio-constructive (West and Zimmerman, 1987) point of view. "
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    ABSTRACT: The research aims to analyse the discursive construction of gender violence towards trans-women detained in the prison of Sollicciano, near Florence. Discourses, produced in this context, evidence how (trans)gender identities are constructed with regard to norms, preconceived roles, low ranges of agency, inequalities of status and distribution of power. Results show that transgender prisoners perceive more violence inside the women’s ward than in the men’s ward. This representation of violence seems to be an internalisation of gender inequalities passed form man to woman and then from woman to transgender.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012
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    • "While a small percentage of participants in the quantitative phase of this study were from outside Southern California their presence at Los Angeles Ballroom events makes them a part of the extended Los Angeles community. Thus, generalizability of our study findings may not extend to House and Ball communities throughout the United States, especially because demographic and HIV testing patterns of our sample differed from previously studied House and Ball communities in other cities (Murill et al., 2008; Sanchez et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: African-American young men who have sex with men and transgender persons are at elevated risk for HIV infection. House and Ball communities, networks of mostly African-American gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who compete in modeling and dance, represent a prime venue for HIV prevention with these difficult-to-reach populations; however, little research exists on effective approaches to HIV prevention within these communities. Using a mixed-methods approach, the present study sought to document participation in HIV prevention activities of a sample from the Los Angeles House and Ball communities (n = 263) in order to inform future service development. While 80% of participants were tested for HIV within the past 6 months, only 26% report HIV prevention program attendance. House leaders recommend a holistic approach to HIV prevention, one that incorporates attention to social problems beyond HIV, including poverty, housing difficulties, and lack of job training.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education
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    • "These include gender identity distress, stigma, bias, discrimination, and lack of social support [12]. However, many transgender people suffering from problems related to these issues may be reluctant to seek mental health care because mental health professionals’ lack of training and basic cultural competency [15] or bias toward transgender clients [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background This study examines exposure to perceived discrimination and its association with depression among low-income, Latina male-to-female transgender women as well as evaluates the impact of sexual partner violence and mistreatment on depression. Methods A total of 220 Latina male-to-female transgender women who resided in Los Angeles, California, were recruited through community based organizations and referrals. Participants completed individual interviews using a structured questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Perceived discrimination was assessed using a fifteen-item measure that was designed to assess the experiences of maltreatment of transgender individuals. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the association between perceived discrimination and depression after controlling for the presence of other variables. Results Of the sample, 35% reported significant depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 ≥ 15). Additionally, one-third of the participants indicated that in the two weeks prior to the interviews they had thought either of hurting themselves or that they would be better off dead. The extent of perceived discrimination in this population was extensive. Many of the participants experienced discrimination on a daily basis (14%) or at least once or twice a week (25%) as demonstrated by a positive response to at least 7 of 15 items in the measure of perceived discrimination. Almost six out of ten participants admitted that they had been victims of sexual partner violence. Those who reported more frequent discrimination were more likely to be identified with severe depression. There was also a notable association between self-reported history of sexual partner violence and depression severity. Conclusions A significant association between depression severity and perceived discrimination was identified. How exposure to discrimination leads to increased risk of mental health problems needs additional investigation. Models investigating the association between perceived discrimination and depression among transgender women should include sexual partner violence as a potential confounding variable.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · BMC Public Health
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