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Sexual health, transition-related risk behavior and need for health care among transgender sex workers

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Abstract
Background: Research has shown that sexual risk behavior, as well as transition-related risk behavior, such as uncontrolled hormone use, auto-medication, and silicone injections, may lead to several adverse health outcomes for transgender persons. Transgender sex workers are a vulnerable group within the transgender population, who are at increased risk for these health risk behaviors. However, European research into this topic and risk population remains largely absent. Aim: This study explores the prevalence of uncontrolled gender-affirming hormone use, silicone injections, and inconsistent condom use among transgender sex workers working in Antwerp, Belgium. Methods: A descriptive analysis of a survey sample of 46 transgender sex workers, supplemented with nine in-depth interviews with transgender sex workers. Results: This population of transgender sex workers has specific socio-demographic characteristics: they are all assigned male at birth, 83% identifies as female and 76% is from Latin-American descent, mainly from Ecuador. Transition-related and sexual risk behaviors are prevalent. Current uncontrolled hormone use rate is 32%, which should be seen in light of their work as well as their migration status. Inconsistent condom use with clients is reported by 33% of the sample. Of all participants, 65% has silicone injections in one or more parts of the body, and 43% of them cites health problems due to these injections. Conclusion: The specific characteristics of this largely invisible but highly vulnerable population should be taken in account when addressing this population's health risk behavior. Access to health care and social services should be ensured, and culturally tailored health interventions that take into account their social context as well as their gender identity should be developed.
Keywords
hormone use, sex work, sexual health, silicone injections, transgender, risk behavior, HIV RISK, HORMONE-TREATMENT, FEMALE, WOMEN, GENDER, PEOPLE, PREVALENCE, SILICONE, BENEFITS, SAMPLE

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MLA
Van Schuylenbergh, Judith, et al. “Sexual Health, Transition-Related Risk Behavior and Need for Health Care among Transgender Sex Workers.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM, vol. 20, no. 4, 2019, pp. 388–402.
APA
Van Schuylenbergh, J., Motmans, J., Defreyne, J., Somers, A., & T’Sjoen, G. (2019). Sexual health, transition-related risk behavior and need for health care among transgender sex workers. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM, 20(4), 388–402.
Chicago author-date
Van Schuylenbergh, Judith, Joz Motmans, Justine Defreyne, Anna Somers, and Guy T’Sjoen. 2019. “Sexual Health, Transition-Related Risk Behavior and Need for Health Care among Transgender Sex Workers.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM 20 (4): 388–402.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Schuylenbergh, Judith, Joz Motmans, Justine Defreyne, Anna Somers, and Guy T’Sjoen. 2019. “Sexual Health, Transition-Related Risk Behavior and Need for Health Care among Transgender Sex Workers.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM 20 (4): 388–402.
Vancouver
1.
Van Schuylenbergh J, Motmans J, Defreyne J, Somers A, T’Sjoen G. Sexual health, transition-related risk behavior and need for health care among transgender sex workers. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM. 2019;20(4):388–402.
IEEE
[1]
J. Van Schuylenbergh, J. Motmans, J. Defreyne, A. Somers, and G. T’Sjoen, “Sexual health, transition-related risk behavior and need for health care among transgender sex workers,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 388–402, 2019.
@article{8618878,
  abstract     = {Background: Research has shown that sexual risk behavior, as well as transition-related risk behavior, such as uncontrolled hormone use, auto-medication, and silicone injections, may lead to several adverse health outcomes for transgender persons. Transgender sex workers are a vulnerable group within the transgender population, who are at increased risk for these health risk behaviors. However, European research into this topic and risk population remains largely absent. 
Aim: This study explores the prevalence of uncontrolled gender-affirming hormone use, silicone injections, and inconsistent condom use among transgender sex workers working in Antwerp, Belgium. 
Methods: A descriptive analysis of a survey sample of 46 transgender sex workers, supplemented with nine in-depth interviews with transgender sex workers. 
Results: This population of transgender sex workers has specific socio-demographic characteristics: they are all assigned male at birth, 83% identifies as female and 76% is from Latin-American descent, mainly from Ecuador. Transition-related and sexual risk behaviors are prevalent. Current uncontrolled hormone use rate is 32%, which should be seen in light of their work as well as their migration status. Inconsistent condom use with clients is reported by 33% of the sample. Of all participants, 65% has silicone injections in one or more parts of the body, and 43% of them cites health problems due to these injections. 
Conclusion: The specific characteristics of this largely invisible but highly vulnerable population should be taken in account when addressing this population's health risk behavior. Access to health care and social services should be ensured, and culturally tailored health interventions that take into account their social context as well as their gender identity should be developed.},
  author       = {Van Schuylenbergh, Judith and Motmans, Joz and Defreyne, Justine and Somers, Anna and T'Sjoen, Guy},
  issn         = {1553-2739},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSGENDERISM},
  keywords     = {hormone use,sex work,sexual health,silicone injections,transgender,risk behavior,HIV RISK,HORMONE-TREATMENT,FEMALE,WOMEN,GENDER,PEOPLE,PREVALENCE,SILICONE,BENEFITS,SAMPLE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {388--402},
  title        = {Sexual health, transition-related risk behavior and need for health care among transgender sex workers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15532739.2019.1617217},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2019},
}

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