Forms of Safety and Their Impact on Health

An Exploration of HIV/AIDS-related Risk and Resilience Among Trans Women in Lebanon

Published in: Health Care for Women International, v. 36, no. 8, Aug. 2015, p. 917-935

Posted on RAND.org on October 05, 2015

by Rachel L. Kaplan, Glenn Wagner, Simon Nehme, Frances Aunon, Danielle Khouri, Jacques Mokhbat

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Using minority stress theory, the authors investigated risk behaviors of transgender women (trans women) in Lebanon. Using semistructured interviews, the authors explored six areas: relationships with family and friends; openness about gender and sexuality; experiences with stigma; sexual behavior; attitudes and behaviors regarding HIV testing; and perceived HIV-related norms among transgender peers. Participants voiced the importance of different forms of safety: social/emotional, physical, sexual, and financial. Strategies for obtaining safety were negotiated differently depending on social, behavioral, and structural factors in the environment. In this article, we provide study findings from the perspectives of trans women, their exposure to stigma, and the necessary navigation of environments characterized by transphobia.

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