HIV and Young Transgender People: A Technical Brief (Draft)

Inter-Agency Working Group On Key Populations
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This technical brief is one in a series addressing four young key populations. It is intended for policy-makers, donors, service-planners, service-providers and community-led organizations. This brief aims to catalyse and inform discussions about how best to provide services, programmes and support for young transgender people. It offers a concise account of current knowledge concerning the HIV risk and vulnerability of young transgender people; the barriers and constraints they face to appropriate services; examples of programmes that may work well in addressing their needs; and approaches and considerations for providing services that both draw upon and build the strengths, competencies and capacities of young transgender people.

The brief identifies considerations for policy, research and funding as follows:

Need for supportive laws and policies

  • Work for the legal recognition of an individual’s chosen gender identity;
  • Work for the decriminalisation of cross-dressing, same-sex behaviour, sex work and drug use;
  • Work toward developing non-custodial alternatives to the incarceration of young people who use drugs, sell sex or engage in same-sex activity;
  • Prevent and address violence against young transgender people;
  • Examine current consent policies to consider removing age-related barriers and parent/guardian consent requirements that impede access to HIV and STI testing, treatment and care;
  • Address social norms and stigma around sexuality, gender identities and sexual orientation, etc.

Strategic information and research, including

  • Population size, demographics and epidemiology, with disaggregation of behavioural data and HIV prevalence by age group
  • Research into health programmes and interventions for young transgender people and the effectiveness of their delivery, especially services offered by transgender-led organisations
  • Research into the impact of laws and policies upon access to health and other services
  • Involvement of young transgender people, including those under 18, in research activities to ensure that they are appropriate, acceptable and relevant from the community’s perspective


  • Increase funding for research, implementation and scale-up of initiatives addressing young transgender people.
  • Ensure that there is dedicated funding in national HIV plans for programmes with young transgender people, and for programmes that address overlapping vulnerabilities.
  • Recognise overlapping vulnerabilities of key populations in funding and delivery of services.

You can download this 40 page document above. This resource is in English.