Implementing comprehensive HIV and STI programmes with transgender people

06 April 2016

In collaboration with UNAIDS and other partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IRTG, a Global Network of Trans Women and HIV, have released a new publication today entitled Implementing comprehensive HIV and STI programmes with transgender people: practical guidance for collaborative interventions. The publication presents concrete steps that public health officials, health workers and nongovernmental organizations can adopt to implement HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) programmes with transgender people.

Topics covered in the publication include community empowerment and human rights, addressing violence, stigma and discrimination, and delivering transgender-competent services, especially for HIV and STI prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. The publication also covers community-led outreach, safe spaces and the use of information and communications technology in service delivery. It describes how to manage programmes and build the capacity of organizations led by transgender people and shows how services can be designed and implemented to be acceptable and accessible to transgender women. Wherever possible, it gives particular attention to programmes run by transgender organizations.

The publication was developed in collaboration with transgender people and advocates, service providers, researchers, government officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations from all over the world. UNDP and IRTG coordinated its production, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund, the University of California, San Francisco, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the World Health Organization, the United States Agency for International Development, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and UNAIDS.

The document is based on recommendations included in the Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations, published in 2014 by the World Health Organization.

Transgender women continue to be heavily affected by HIV, being 49 times more likely to become infected with HIV than non-transgender adults.


“Discrimination, violence and criminalization deter transgender people from getting the services they need to be healthy and stay healthy. This tool helps planners put into action comprehensive programmes across the whole spectrum.”

Joanne Keatley, co-chair of IRGT and director of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California, San Francisco

“There is an urgent need to ensure that community engagement, policies and programming for transgender people are implemented. This publication, developed with the engagement of transgender activists globally, is an important step forward to making sure this happens.”

Luiz Loures, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director