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Reaching MSM and Transgender Communities

June 1, 2019


Transgender Woman

HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau supports initiatives that focus on sexual minority communities facing challenges with HIV care engagement. Projects are designed to enhance Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) services that reach individuals and populations hardest hit by the HIV epidemic in the United States, including African American men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people. Initiatives focus on, for example, health literacy, involving consumers in guiding their own care decisions, evidence-informed service delivery approaches, consumer engagement in planning.


HRSA's Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS), has supported innovative strategies for engaging transgender women of color and Black MSM in HIV care. SPNS insights are translated into best practices under some of the following projects.

Below are highlights of SPNS and other recent RWHAP technical assistance initiatives. See our Technical Assistance Directory for the full roster of TA and training projects as many others also focus on sexual minorities. 

  • Well Versed is an online resource and conversation forum for health care providers and Black MSM that presents a simple platform describing what to do before, during, and after a clinic visit.
  • His Health provides a compendium of care models, training modules, and resources for enhanced linkage, retention, and engagement strategies targeting Black MSM. This site targets providers and offers continuing medical education (CME) and continuing nursing unit (CNU) credits for clinicians to increase their capacity to accelerate health care service delivery to Black MSM and transgender clients in culturally appropriate ways.
  • In It Together is designed to improve the capacity of health departments and community-based organizations to deliver health-literate HIV services, with a particular focus on health services provided to Black/African American MSM.
  • The end+disparities ECHO Collaborative is a national initiative to reduce health disparities among four disproportionately affected HIV subpopulations, including MSM of color and transgender people.

  • Innovative Approaches to Engaging Hard-to-Reach Populations Living with HIV/AIDS into Care provides tools for agencies to improve care engagement for hard-to-reach individuals. This effort is part of IHIP: Integrating HIV Innovative Practices.

  • Building Leaders of Color Living with HIV (BLOC) is training people of color living with HIV to be full participants on planning bodies, medical and support care teams, and boards of directors. 

  • E2i is identifying and field testing evidence-informed interventions to reduce HIV-related health disparities and improve health outcomes, with a focus on four groups, including Transgender Women and Black MSM. 
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