SPNS Initiative: Enhancing Engagement and Retention in Quality HIV Care for Transgender Women of Color, 2012-2017


The Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Program Enhancing Engagement and Retention in Quality HIV Care for Transgender Women of Color initiative is a multi-site demonstration project providing funding to support organizations that will design, implement, and evaluate innovative interventions to improve timely entry, engagement, and retention in quality HIV care for transgender women of color living with HIV. The primary focus of this initiative is to identify and successfully engage and retain in care transgender women of color who are at high risk of HIV infection or are infected with HIV but are unaware of their HIV status, are aware of their HIV infection but have never been engaged in care, are aware but have refused referral to care, or have dropped out of care.

Although CDC does not yet report HIV surveillance data for transgender women who have been classified as men who have sex with men (MSM), data from urban needs assessments and risk behavioral studies have shown high rates of HIV infection in this traditionally underserved population. Transgender people experience significant difficulties when attempting to access all types of health care, and due to fears of discrimination, provider insensitivity, hostility, and lack of knowledge about transgender health, many avoid care altogether until their need becomes acute. The interventions of this initiative address many of the barriers faced by transgender women of color who are living with HIV when they attempt to access HIV primary care.

Grant Recipients

Journal Articles


Date Last Reviewed:  March 2017