28 April 2017 - Last week USAID SHIFT joined with the Center for Applied Research for Men and Community Health (CARMAH), Blue Sky Club, the Vietnam Network for People Living with HIV (VNP+) and Ho Chi Minh City Provincial AIDS Center (HCMC PAC) to launch Vietnam’s first HIV outreach and uptake effort to specifically serve transgender women (TGW). The pilot follows formative research by CARMAH which found high HIV prevalence (18%) and low HIV status knowledge among 205 TGW surveyed (36 participants were newly diagnosed HIV-positive during the study). To begin serving this highly vulnerable population, USAID SHIFT and partners trained 22 community-based supporters – including TGW community leaders – to reach and help link TGW in HCMC to HIV testing and treatment (ART). The workshop explored definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity, TGW’s experiences and elevated risks for HIV, HIV services available for TGW in HCMC, the importance of early ART, and techniques to effectively connect, communicate with and support TGW to use HIV services. The project is likewise tackling healthcare provider stigma and discrimination towards TGW during sensitization and awareness raising trainings. These efforts are essential to stem high HIV prevalence impacting TGW in Vietnam.