Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of biomarker collection for hiv infection and chronic stress among transwomen in Puerto Rico

Sheilla L. Rodríguez-Madera, Nelson Varas Díaz, Alíxida Ramos Pibernus, Mark Padilla, Ana Vasques Guzzi, Gabriela Rodríguez Rodríguez, Walter Bockting

Resumen


The assessment of biomarkers related to HIV and chronic stress increases opportunities for the design of more comprehensive research and intervention efforts on the health of transwomen within the context of Health Psychology. In this paper, we present data from a study implemented in Puerto Rico that aimed to: document the feasibility/acceptability of collecting biomarkers for chronic stress and HIV among transwomen; qualitatively document the factors related to the collection of biomarkers in this population; and explore the feasibility of collecting other types of biological specimens from transwomen in future studies. We implemented an exploratory mixed-method study with a sample of 10 transwomen. Quantitative information was gathered via saliva and hair biomarkers for chronic stress and HIV, while qualitative data was obtained via in-depth interviews. Twenty percent had positive results for HIV antibodies and 30% had hair cortisol levels that exceeded the normal range. The main motivations behind the provision of biomarkers were the desire to know about their health; contributing to a better understanding of health in the transgender community; and having previous positive experiences with our research team. We discuss the incorporation of biomarkers as powerful tools to better describe and understand the health of transwomen.

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Referencias


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