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P3.439 Understanding the Localised Perspective on Transgender Women For Developing Transgender-Specific Health Services and HIV Prevention Programmes in the Philippines
  1. R N Cortes
  1. Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc., Pasay City, Philippines


The Philippines do not have localised term to refer to transgender (TG) persons. In fact, the common local terms “bakla”, “bading” and “bayot” are negatively used to refer to TG women. Even the Philippine Integrated HIV Behavioral and Serological Surveillance (IHBSS) do not disaggregate data for men having sex with men (MSM) and TG but are lumped together, which creates both a socio-political and behavioural risk issue. Thus, it is important to look at how TG women themselves define and understand the concept of TG in order to provide a context in developing TG-specific health services and HIV prevention programmes.

The methods used were facilitating a self-administered questionnaire to forty-six (46) self-identified TG women, and conducted four (4) focus group discussions to TG women members from community-based organisations (CBOs) in Metro Manila, Cebu City and Davao City.

The findings revealed that majority of the respondents/participants, being affiliated with a CBO, defines TG as persons whose gender identity and/or expression does not conform with their sex assigned at birth. Their differentiation of a TG woman from a transsexual (TS) is that the latter is related more to the concept of body modifications (i.e. hormone replacement therapy, collagen injection and implants). Thus, TG-specific health services should include both empowerment of their TG identities and addressing risky behaviours such as “versatile” sexual role and engaging in various forms of body modifications, especially those who self-inject hormones and collagens. Some TG CBOs coined “transpinay”, “transwomen” and “binabae” as a local term for TG women which are useful to reach the unaware Filipino TG women community. Lastly, in order to identify and target TG women clients in peer education, qualifier questions or criteria can be used but always give the target clients the opportunity to self-identify for self-empowerment - both strategies should complement each other.

  • health
  • Transgender
  • transsexual

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