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Advancing health services for transgender people in Asia-Pacific Region

Tue 09 Apr 2019 News & Events

Tangerine Community Health Clinic is the first clinic in the Asia-Pacific region to offer health services exclusively for transgender people. Since its establishment in 2015, the response has been well received from the communities. Tangerine Clinic has inspired other countries in the region to establish similar transgender health clinics in their own settings.

Victoria by LoveYourself, the first transgender health clinic and community center in the Philippines, was among the first country to replicate the Tangerine model. The clinic offers integrated trans-related health services such as gender-affirming health services. The clinic also raises awareness and do advocacy activities aimed at educating the community about transgender people.

To response to the growing interest locally and internationally, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre has established the Tangerine Academy as a regional technical assistance platform for the development of tools, training curricula and resources to support the roll-out of HIV and health service models for transgender people. The Tangerine Academy provides technical assistance and capacity strengthening interventions to organizations in establishing transgender health clinics and implementing comprehensive health service packages.

In 2017, the Tangerine Clinic extended similar models to local community health centers in Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiangmai to provide transgender health services and improve the health of transgender community throughout Thailand. The Tangerine Clinic provided on-site technical assistance to setup the clinic and health service packages, training for community health workers on transgender health, data collection systems and dry run of service flow. Tangerine Clinic also provide continuous quality improvement and quality assurance to ensure highest quality standard as well as ongoing support based on the needs of the site.

The success of the Tangerine Clinic in delivering stigma-free and high-quality health services has resulted in the expansion of transgender health services in Vietnam. Last year, the Tangerine Clinic provided technical assistance to USAID Path Healthy Market Project in Vietnam in establishing the transgender health clinics in HCMC and Hanoi. The team provided training for healthcare providers and community health workers on gender-affirming hormone therapy, HIV/STI related services, substance use & mental health assessment and support. Tangerine Clinic is now providing follow-up support to ensure high-quality health services for transgender people.

Cambodia has now shown strong interest in replicating the Tangerine model. Last week, representatives from Cambodia visited Tangerine Clinic to learn more about the transgender health services and how to integrate gender-affirmative hormone services for transgender people into HIV programming.

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