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Prioritizing HIV Services for Transgender Women and Men Who Have Sex With Men in Manila, Philippines

An Opportunity for HIV Provider Interventions

Restar, Arjee Javellana MPH*; Chan, Randolph C. H. PhD; Adia, Alexander MPH; Quilantang, Ma Irene MA; Nazareno, Jennifer PhD; Hernandez, Laufred MMPM, MA; Cu-Uvin, Susan MD; Operario, Don PhD

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: October 04, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000131
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Transgender women (TW) and men who have sex with men (MSM) are highly affected by the rising HIV epidemic in the Philippines. HIV providers are essential to curbing the epidemic. Between July and August 2017, we conducted one-on-one qualitative interviews with 15 HIV providers in Manila, Philippines. Overall, providers reported tension between willingness to provide care versus actual competencies. Most discussed treating every patient equally regardless of gender or sexual identities. However, many expressed hesitancies in providing HIV services due to (a) not knowing the health needs of TW and MSM, (b) having little to no training in HIV, and (c) difficulty being sensitive to patient gender and sexuality. Although providers were unsure about how to prioritize HIV services for TW and MSM, some expressed interest in learning and engaging these populations in their practices. Our findings suggest the importance of provider-focused interventions to prioritize TW and MSM health needs.

Arjee Javellana Restar, MPH, is a Graduate Student, School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Randolph C. H. Chan, PhD, is an Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education and Counselling, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Alexander Adia, MPH, is a Graduate Student, School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Ma Irene Quilantang, MA, is a Professor, University of Philippines, Manila, Philippines. Jennifer Nazareno, PhD, is an Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Laufred Hernandez, MMPM, MA, is an Associate Professor, University of Philippines, Manila, Philippines. Susan Cu-Uvin, MD, is a Professor, Miriam Hospital, Department of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Don Operario, PhD, is a Professor, School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Corresponding author: Arjee Javellana Restar, e-mail: arjee_restar@brown.edu

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2019 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
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