National Center for Transgender Equality. “Transgender Sexual and Reproductive Health: Unmet Needs and Barriers to Care,” April 2012. http://transequality.org/Resources/Factsheet_TransSexualandReproHealth_April2012.pdf.
This fact sheet covers barriers that contribute to sexual and reproductive health disparities affecting transgender people. The sexual partners of trans persons cannot be assumed from their gender identity or sex assigned at birth. The authors challenge this misconception, stating that transgender individuals are at risk for unplanned pregnancy, STIs, and HIV. Additionally, transgender individuals face socioeconomic marginalization and high rates of abuse and trauma associated with survival behaviors. Some are reluctant to seek health care due to fear of maltreatment, discrimination, and lack of provider competency. The authors state that the lack of adequate provider knowledge and professional training on transgender health leads to inaccurate health information, discriminatory care, and/or refusal of care.
The National Center for Transgender Equality emphasizes that sexual and reproductive health care remains an intimate and unaddressed need for the transgender community. The authors provide concrete recommendations for improvement of transgender sexual and reproductive health care. Proposed changes include enforced health professional guidelines, formal nondiscriminatory policies and grant guidelines, and the elimination of public policies requiring sterilization for government gender affirmation of transgender people. This factsheet is useful for scholars, activists, and health professionals seeking information on transgender health needs and ways to alleviate barriers to care.