The director of the Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center, Shannon Weber, talks with Dr. Bob Grant, a principle investigator of the iPrEx study — the groundbreaking study on PrEP — about the use of PrEP for transgender women. In the interview, Grant explains that 13 percent of the participants were trans women, but that he thinks more studies need to be done to investigate the needs of trans women specifically.
“I think whenever possible trans women would be studied separately from men who have sex with men,” says Grant when asked how he would conduct a future study, adding this was particularly important when trans women were going to different clinics or clubs than gay and bisexual men. Grant also revealed that he had felt strongly about including trans women in the PrEP study because he didn’t think they would get funding for a completely separate study on trans women. [Editor's note: In fact, that's the case with most research projects; we're told nobody will fund one specifically about trans women or trans people, so trans women — who have higher HIV rates than even gay men — are lumped in with gay and bi men in these foundational studies.]
The interview is great to watch and very informative, and Grant raises excellent points that trans women should ideally have their own studies but should be included in any studies whenever possible.
He also calls for involvement of trans women as investigators in future studies.
“This is really essential,” he says. “We need trans women to be investigators of studies and to be involved in development of protocols.”
Watch the whole interview here: