The 10th Anniversary of the Trans Health Conference

Injustice at Every Turn

This year marked the 10th Anniversary of the Trans Health Conference. The conference, held earlier this month in Philadelphia, featured transgender pioneers Earline Budd and Jamison Green as the opening plenary keynote speakers. An estimated 2,000 people from across the country were in attendance including service providers and researchers, transgender people, and parents of transgender children. Focusing on the theme ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’, the conference also featured various spiritual opportunities, social events, and workshops/educational sessions discussing topics such as science, justice, advocacy, social determinants of health, employment, psychology, and sexuality in the trans community.

One of the highlights of the conference was the Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. The report, put forth by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is the first of its kind, summarizing many key demographic, health, and social issues facing the transgender community. Interviewing 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming study participants from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the report now makes hard data available for advocacy efforts, activists, and researchers.

Some startling findings in the report state that rates of HIV within the transgender community are over four times higher than the national average, with rates even higher among transgender people of color. Higher HIV prevalence coupled with the finding that up to 19% of the sample population reported refusing medical care due to their transgender or gender non-conforming status implies that the transgender community may be at an even higher risk than initially estimated. The benefit of having this data is that it can now be used to assess local or regional levels of need, discrimination/stigma, poor health outcomes, incompetence of health providers, prisons, cultural competency, resilience, etc. of the trans community, allowing for more targeted and efficient health interventions.

View the Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey Executive Summary here.