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TWIRI Conference 2023 Viewing Party

Welcome to the third Trans Women HIV Research Initiative Conference, Viewing Party edition! Through our asynchronous viewing party that you can access at any time, we share some of the highlights from the third TWIRI conference that was held in-person in Toronto in November 2023. The conference brought together 100 community members, care providers, researchers, and allies who shared a common goal of wanting to support trans women and gender diverse people’s access to health and social care. As community members, advocates, researchers, clinicians, and leaders, we have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of trans and gender diverse people through our work. It is crucial that we acknowledge and address the disparities and inequalities that trans people face in healthcare, education, employment, and many other areas of life, and that we create spaces where trans folks can be seen, validated, and valued.

See Videos and Descriptions (below) to join the ongoing viewing party!


Keynote and TWIRI Project Highlights

Part 1 (1 hour, 18 minutes) begins with Kitanya Wiltshire, an incredible trans woman and advocate and the current Intake Coordinator and Trans Program lead at the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP). Kitanya has spear headed the ACB Trans Women Harm Reduction programs and Trans Programming for Black Cap. She has also spearheaded the first Paid Trans ID Clinic and has served the community continuously.  In her keynote, Access to Healthcare for Trans Women, Kitanya shares from her wealth of knowledge and 8 years’ experience in Harm reduction, Case Management, Discrimination and Stigma, HIV prevention and testing, Immigration and Resettlement, Hormone Replacement, Mental Health, Transitioning Education and Gender Identification.

Following Kitanya’s keynote, the TWIRI team presents on four recent studies we conducted. You will hear about:

  • Adapting and Operationalizing the Women-Centred HIV Care Model for Trans Women and Gender Diverse People, by Yasmeen Persad and Angela Underhill (beginning at 25:27)

  • The Feminizing Hormone and Antiretroviral Therapy Drug-Drug Interaction Study: From Chart Review to Clinical Study, by Drs. Ian Armstrong and Mona Loutfy (beginning at 39:04)

  • Developing a Scale to Measure Trans Women’s Satisfaction with Feminizing Hormone Therapy: Preliminary Results of the FEM-SQ, by Gabi Ortiz, Hadas Kluger, and Dr. Ashley Lacombe-Duncan (beginning at 1:00:00)


Community Panel: Access to Care for Trans Women and Gender Diverse People

Part 2 (37:43) features an amazing community panel consisting of Christine, Evana, and Keysha and moderated by Dr. Ashley Lacombe-Duncan. Our community panelists share stories about their health and care journeys, offer recommendations for care providers, and more. Please listen as they share what mattered most to them when thinking about health and social care access for trans women and gender diverse people.


Research Briefs: Improving Care for Gender Diverse People

Part 3 (46:18) of the conference consists of three research presentations, all with the shared vision of understanding and improving access to care and better outcomes for trans women and gender diverse people. The research briefs include:

  • Identifying Factors Influencing the Uptake of Viral Illness Care for Trans Women Living with HIV, by Bluma Kleiner, MSc in Family Medicine (00:00)

  • Vaginoplasty: From Clinical Quandaries to Vanguard Insights, By Emery Potter at the Transition Related Surgery Program at Women’s College Hospital (10:00)

  • Experiences of Accessing Care During COVID-19, by Kaitrin Doll, PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto (28:18)


Service Provider Panel

Last, but certainly not least, is our service provider panel in part 4 (49:08). Moderated by Yasmeen Persad, we hear from four service providers about their work. In the panel, you will hear from Suza, representing the Department of Family and Community Medicine; Iman, representing Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project; Amina, representing PASAN (an organization that supports and advocates for communities disproportionately affected by incarceration); and Dr. Ian Armstrong, a Family Medicine and HIV Primary Care provider. Throughout, you will also hear from passionate advocates, community members, and service providers from the audience who contributed to a powerful call for change.

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