Southern African HIV Clinicians Society gender-affirming healthcare guideline for South Africa

dc.contributor.authorTomson A
dc.contributor.authorMcLachlan C
dc.contributor.authorWattrus C
dc.contributor.authorAdams K
dc.contributor.authorAddinall R
dc.contributor.authorBothma R
dc.contributor.authorJankelowitz L
dc.contributor.authorKotze E
dc.contributor.authorLuvuno Z
dc.contributor.authorMadlala N
dc.contributor.authorMatyila S
dc.contributor.authorPadavatan A
dc.contributor.authorPillay M
dc.contributor.authorRakumakoe MD
dc.contributor.authorTomson-Myburgh M
dc.contributor.authorVenter WDF
dc.contributor.authorde Vries E
dc.coverage.spatialSouth Africa
dc.description.abstractWe support an affirming approach to managing the transgender and gender diverse (TGD) client, centering on the individual’s agency, autonomy and right to selfdetermination, as opposed to practices that pathologise and stigmatise transgender identity, imposing barriers to accessing healthcare services. Transgender and gender diverse individuals have long faced discrimination on multiple axes, both globally and in South Africa. Although South Africa enshrines the protection of human rights in its Constitution, TGD individuals continue to face marginalisation, prejudice and threats to their safety. Challenges, including homelessness, unemployment, poor social support, bullying, harassment and violence, persist, indicating failures of policy development, practice implementation and a disregard for the human rights of individuals in the TGD community. This guideline has been developed primarily with the intention of centering and amplifying voices of TGD individuals in order to facilitate access to healthare that is sensitive, skilled and respectful. We recognise that there are significant gaps in the knowledge and skills of healthcare providers, and there is a lack of understanding of the unique experiences faced by TGD persons. The prevailing sentiment that many healthcare providers hold around TGD individuals, informed by ignorance and conditioning within social and societal structures, are malevolent towards this community, and often include harmful assumptions and generalisations. We believe that healthcare providers have an ethical obligation to interrogate these notions, and we promote an attitude of respect for diversity that upholds human rights. It has been well established that access to competent and dignified gender-affirming healthcare (GAHC) is not only safe but also plays a significant role in improving measurable outcomes for TGD clients. It has also been well established that pathologising approaches and practices that limit access to care can be damaging and harmful. Finally, we recognise that TGD individuals have historically endured being undermined, condescended to and pitied by the healthcare system and its providers. We affirm a commitment to upholding a strength-based perspective that values and respects the experiences of TGD clients and celebrates their individual identity rather than merely accepting or tolerating it. This guideline, which no doubt will require ongoing revision, reflection and refinement in consultation with TGD communities and healthcare providers, represents a first step made in good faith towards creating a practical tool founded in robust scientific evidence, lodged within a human rights framework, and is intended to facilitate access to skilled and sensitive care that will yield tangible benefits to this unique and important group.
dc.identifierARTN a1299
dc.identifier.citationTomson A, McLachlan CT, Wattrus C, Adams K, Addinall R, Bothma R, Jankelowitz L, Kotze E, Luvuno Z, Madlala N, Matyila S, Padavatan A, Pillay M, Rakumakoe MD, Tomson-Myburgh M, Venter WDF, de Vries E. (2021). Southern African HIV Clinicians' Society gender-affirming healthcare guideline for South Africa.. South Afr J HIV Med. 22. 1. (pp. 1299-).
dc.relation.isPartOfSouth Afr J HIV Med
dc.rightsCopyright: © 2021. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licenseen_US
dc.titleSouthern African HIV Clinicians Society gender-affirming healthcare guideline for South Africa
dc.typeJournal article
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