Navigation Links
Safer sex: Study examines sexual communication in transgender community
Date:6/2/2011

A new study from North Carolina State University shows that talking about safer sex is a complicated process for individuals in the transgender community. The finding may help efforts to promote safer sex practices in a community facing high HIV rates and also sheds light on broader questions related to safer sex for everyone.

"The main reason for this study is the fact that we're seeing evidence of devastatingly high HIV prevalence rates in the transgender community," says Dr. Kami Kosenko, an assistant professor of communication at NC State and lead author of the study. "The HIV prevalence rate is less than 1 percent for the general U.S. population. But for the transgender population, the HIV prevalence rate is estimated to be as high as 60 percent in major metropolitan areas. Although these are only estimates, they are troubling."

The term transgender is used to refer to people who are uncomfortable with their assigned gender identity, including individuals who establish a gender identity that does not comply with traditional gender roles. For example, the term often applies to individuals whose gender presentation differs from their biological sex.

These high HIV prevalence rates have led to efforts from researchers, public-health officials and others to help the transgender community do a better job of communicating about safer sex practices. Kosenko's research stems from "a need to better understand how transgender individuals talk about sex, to make sure that safer sex educational efforts targeting this community are effective."

Kosenko notes that research on sexual communication in general is fairly limited. Historically, sex communication research has defined safer sex discussions as one of two things: finding out about a partner's sexual history; or trying to persuade a partner to use a condom.

What Kosenko found is that communication about safer sex, at least in the transgender community, is far more complicated.

After interviewing 41 transgender individuals from around the country, Kosenko found, for example, that privacy is a significant issue. Transgender individuals have to make often-difficult decisions about when and how to disclose their biological sex to prospective partners because that revelation carries the risk of rejection, or even violent behavior.

But other findings from the study may be applicable beyond the transgender community. Kosenko found that transgender individuals like people in other groups try to gauge sexual health risks by talking to prospective partners about their sexual history and safer sex practices. But Kosenko also found that these talks can be undermined if a partner is being dishonest about his or her past a problem that is presumably faced by those outside the transgender community as well.

"This study shows that understanding sexual communication goes beyond attempts to discuss sexual history," Kosenko says. "It also entails the difficult process of trying to determine if a sexual partner is being forthcoming."

In addition, the study found that talking about safer sex is about more than using condoms. For example, in the transgender community, some people go through the process of getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases with a partner and then having unprotected sex if both test negative for HIV. The partners also establish rules for sexual activity outside the relationship. For instance, are outside relationships acceptable if condoms are used?

"I think these findings will help us provide safer sex outreach tools for the transgender community that are based in reality," Kosenko says. "And a lot of what we found in this study applies to sexual communication outside of the transgender community as well. Pushing for people to always use condoms may be impractical. Perhaps it would be more effective to promote a broader definition of safer sex practices."


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Father Channels His Grief into Advocacy, Promotes Simple Actions to Make Hospitals Safer for Children
2. Electronic Health Information Leader Says Physician Practice Redesign is Vital Next Step Towards Safer, More Effective Care Delivery
3. Why do physicians order costly CTs? Ultrasound yields better diagnosis, safer, less costly
4. Stitching Wounds May Be Safer Than Stapling
5. New York Personal Injury Attorney Interprets Increase in Tickets for Cyclists as Effort to Make Streets Safer
6. Safer Patients Mean Fewer Malpractice Suits
7. Free UAB service to help parents advocate for safer playgrounds, gyms
8. New Migraine Drug Might Be Safer for Some
9. Study finds everolimus-eluting stent safer, more effective than paclitaxel-eluting stent
10. New Implanted Defibrillator May Be Simpler, Safer
11. Safety Training Makes for Safer Mining
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs ... College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. ... treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department ... in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at ... Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced ... launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first ... of possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Experian Health, the healthcare industry ... patient payment and care experience, today announced ... and services that will enhance the breadth ... These award-winning solutions will enable healthcare professionals ... in an ever-changing environment and redefine front-office ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: