Gender, Relationship Dynamics, and HIV Risk
Principal Investigator: Don Operario
Affiliation: Brown University
Abstract: This application describes a four-year project to study the relationship dynamics that contribute to risk for HIV transmission among male-to-female transgender women and their primary male partners. The goal of this research is to test a conceptual framework that contextualizes HIV risk within relationship dynamics, which can produce findings leading to the development of a theory-driven, culturally appropriate relationship-focused HIV prevention intervention for transgender women and their male partners. These communities are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection in the United States. Our working conceptual model of relationship-level HIV risk emphasizes the contributions of gender roles, power dynamics, couples' communication, agreements about sex outside of the relationship, social and community support, and stigma. Deriving from this framework, we hypothesize that HIV risk for partners in a relationship arises out of both individual-level factors and dyadic-level factors, including discrepancies and disagreements between partners on health-related attitudinal and behavioral domains. We will address these aims using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, involving in-depth individual interviews with 20 couples and cross-sectional surveys with 200 couples. We propose innovative statistical techniques to examine our hypothesized effects. Findings from this research will be used to guide the development of an HIV prevention intervention for this unique relationship dyad, and will expand theoretical understanding of HIV risk within primary relationships. Public health impact: This project has the potential to improve understanding of relationship factors contributing to HIV risk among transgender women and their male partners, which will allow health professionals to intervene more effectively with these groups. Findings will contribute toward developing a theory-driven, culturally appropriate relationship-focused HIV prevention intervention with these groups.
Funding Period: 2006-06-01 - 2010-05-31
more information: NIH RePORT
- HIV in transgender communities: syndemic dynamics and a need for multicomponent interventionsDon Operario
Department of Community Health, Brown University, Providence, RI 2906, USA
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 55:S91-3. 2010..Multicomponent interventions are necessary to respond to the complex interacting syndemic factors that cumulatively determine HIV vulnerability in transgender individuals...
- Couples-focused behavioral interventions for prevention of HIV: systematic review of the state of evidenceJennifer Burton
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
AIDS Behav 14:1-10. 2010....
- Unprotected sexual behavior and HIV risk in the context of primary partnerships for transgender womenDon Operario
Department of Community Health, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
AIDS Behav 15:674-82. 2011..Couples-focused interventions involving transgender women and their male primary partners can be particularly promising...
- Men who have sex with transgender women: challenges to category-based HIV preventionDon Operario
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford, 32 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2ER, UK
AIDS Behav 12:18-26. 2008..Findings from this qualitative study question the utility of category-based approaches to HIV prevention with MSTGWs and offer insights into developing HIV interventions for these men...
- Sex work and HIV status among transgender women: systematic review and meta-analysisDon Operario
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 48:97-103. 2008..This systematic review compared HIV prevalence among transgender female sex workers (TFSWs) with prevalence among transgender women who do not engage in sex work, male sex workers, and biologically female sex workers...