boi midwife rising up from the depths of a long silence with a brief plea to my fellow health care providers…
two times in the past month i have heard of gender variant people asking for STI testing and being refused. this includes being denied HIV testing.
in what universe does it make sense to deny anyone access to STI testing!?
one of the people i heard this from was pregnant at the time of being denied testing. the other was a very sexually active transfag of color who describes his experience here: http://transfagssexjournals.blogspot.com/2012/03/fighting-to-get-tested.html?zx=94b8da447726d492
this is infuriating and totally unacceptable.
so…fellow midwives and health care providers who work with gender variant and queer clients, please:
1. take a complete and accurate sexual history, without judgement or assumptions. don’t let your discomfort or confusion about our sex lives prevent you from assessing our health risks and opportunities for health promotion
2. discuss safer sex with us. honor the wealth of information we are bringing to the table but don’t make us have to teach you. make sure that the information you are presenting is relevant and useful. and keep a good grasp of your client’s anatomy during the discussion (i.e. I have a vagina so please don’t ask me questions that are only relevant to penises – don’t laugh, it happens to me all the time).
3. encourage us to get STI testing on a basis that is supported by evidence and appropriate to our individual risk factors. don’t make us get tested constantly simply on the basis that we are queer and/or gender variant, if we are very low risk. at the same time, don’t EVER deny us testing or downplay the risks we are being honest with you about.
ps – additional tips highly encouraged. comment away!