Windy City Times (Chicago) (02.01.12) - Thursday, February
Dr. Robert Garofalo, of Children's Memorial Research Center,
and colleagues have developed an intervention they hope will
help close the gap in HIV prevention programs targeting young
"Life Skills" is designed primarily to address stigma,
marginalization, and participation in risky sexual behaviors.
"This pilot project was unique in targeting the HIV-risk
behaviors of adolescent and young adult transgender women, a
very at-risk group and one that has been woefully absent from
the scientific literature," said Garofalo.
The Life Skills curriculum includes information on sexual
health, basic HIV facts, safer-sex techniques, healthy
communication, partner negotiation, and available community-
based services. Individual sessions with Chicago-area
transgenders ages 16-24 resulted in tailored risk reduction
The study demonstrated that small, group-based HIV prevention
programs targeting young transgender women are both feasible
and acceptable. Those who participated in the Life Skills
pilot decreased their frequency of unprotected sex with casual
partners and their number of main partners.
Garofalo said the study's success has resulted in a five-year
grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. "In
conjunction with the Fenway Institute and Harvard University,
we at Children's will now conduct the first-ever efficacy
trial of an HIV prevention intervention for young transgender
women in the US."