HIV/AIDS is seen to impact the transgender population. Despite this fact, there is a lack of sufficient knowledge regarding the mentioned population which increases the disease prevalence. Lack of knowledge regarding a particular population equals patient dissatisfaction, prompting the deterioration of health. Therefore, if researchers can practice cultural humility and include this population in preventive programs, social change can be realized. This paper addresses the role of health equity in the global distribution of HIV/AIDS, the significance of cultural humility and inclusion in research, and how CBPR fosters the inclusion of the transgender population, among other factors that aim to minimize cultural bias in the promotion of health.
The Role of Health Equity In The Global Distribution of HIV/AIDS
Strong health systems contribute to equitable and sustainable HIV/AIDS-related programs that can lead to the promotion of health. Health systems require to be responsive and accessible to the particular needs of excluded populations, such as transgender individuals. Against a background of significant inequalities in health and clinical care, the expansion of HIV/AIDS management must tap any opportunities to strengthen equity in the provision of quality health care services (World Health Organization, 2018). Indeed, health equity equals the promotion of optimal health for vulnerable populations. Transgender populations are highly impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Sadly, this population is less studied which makes it challenging to come up with workable strategies for HIV behavioral prevention. According to a study done, higher infection rates were seen among transgender groups with a large percentage of participants reporting that they engaged in risky behaviors (Herbst et al., 2018). Such findings reflect why there is a need to remove obstacles to health and provide fair and just opportunities to be healthy.
The Significance of Cultural Humility & Inclusion in Public Health Research & Planning
Cultural humility and inclusion play a significant role in the establishment of effective HIV-behavioral prevention strategies. Cultural humility enables one to reach many diverse groups of people and in so doing, use findings to provide such groups with non-biased care approach (Unver et al., 2019). When conducting research studies and planning that address the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among populations such as the transgender group, it is likely that one may not come up with satisfactory results especially if they are not culturally competent professionals. Most researchers lack awareness regarding transgender individuals and will often misgender them or fail to include them which results in participants’ dissatisfaction. Failure to adopt culturally responsive practices in research makes research participants have low self-esteem and a loss of confidence. This can ultimately lead to lower participation in research which prevents researchers from establishing workable HIV prevention strategies for the population.
How CBPR Fosters The Inclusion of Transgender Populations.
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a research approach that equitably includes community members, researchers, and other stakeholders in all aspects of a research process (Holkup et al., 2017). All the stakeholders can contribute expertise and share in the decision-making and ownership. Given that the CBPR objective is to understand a given phenomenon and integrate knowledge gained, they can contribute to the development of policies or social change that benefits the particular community.
CBPR fosters the inclusion of local populations by enabling the innovative adaptation of existing resources. It explores local knowledge and perceptions. At the same time, CBPR empowers local communities by considering them as agents who can investigate their situations. Indeed, through such deeds, populations such as the transgender groups feel more empowered to participate in disease prevention innovations.
How Progress Has Been made Toward Greater Cultural Humility & Health Equity In Research
Great progress has been made towards greater cultural humility and health equity in research. Today, cultural competence is increasingly critical and is being prioritized in the field of infectious disease (Hussen et al., 2020). It is seen as an ethical imperative and a practical necessity in research processes. Previously, researchers had not adopted culturally responsive practices towards transgender patients and it was common to misgender research participants. Today, with CBPR, researchers have increased awareness, skills, and knowledge regarding transgender groups. More so, sexual orientation and gender identity data can be collected in electronic records which allows researchers to easily identify transgender individuals more respectfully and be able to look out for the particular health needs that can contribute to behavioral change given that the population is well known to have risky behaviors that contribute to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
The Hispanic Community’s Role in Improving the Cultural Humility & Health Equity in HIV Preventive Programs.
At first, researchers lacked knowledge pertaining to transgender groups which led to findings that lacked addressing the vulnerable group. As noted, the transgender group has a high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS due to their high-risk behaviors that entail having multiple sexual partners and having sexual intercourse without protection. The community within Hispanic people in the U.S. was able to engage researchers in providing information regarding transgender groups. The researchers were made aware of the population’s existence and other crucial information such as risk behaviors and their perception of healthcare. From there on, they could record participants’ information more appropriately by acknowledging their sexual orientation. This helped with proper identification and asking the right questions, prompting effective findings that can be utilized in developing the prevention of disease strategies.
Strategies to Promote Inclusion & Equity Within HIV Preventive Programs Among Hispanics Community.
Collaborating with the vulnerable groups through empowering them as agents who can investigate their issues can promote inclusion and equity within an HIV preventive program. HIV prevention programs must include transgender people in decision-making and program plans as this will motivate them more in investigating the issue as it hits closer to home.
Working with the vulnerable group with an aim to help cause a social change to more others can promote inclusion and equity within an HIV preventive program. People who identify with one another such as transgenders are more likely to engage in programs pertaining to improving their health more compared to their participation if such programs are headed by others of differing sexual orientation. Therefore, it would be wise to include transgender persons in program leadership to help motivate others in behavioral interventions.
The Role of Cultural Bias in Global Health Research.
Bias towards vulnerable populations like the transgender groups can lead to poor research findings and less effective care recommendations. Mapmaking combines science, aesthetics, and technique to build on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively (Pepe, 2020). In this case, mapping can be utilized to identify a prevalence of a health issue such as HIV/AIDS in various regions and in so doing, inform interventions. There would be a need for a researcher to apply culturally fair assessment tools and knowledge if they are to communicate spatial information appropriately. Failure to that, the appropriate recommendations for the globally impacted population may not be realized.
In conclusion, this paper found health equity to contribute to sustainable HIV/AIDS prevention programs that promote wellness for vulnerable populations such as transgender groups. To realize the participation of this group in preventive programs and research participation, there is a need for researchers to practice cultural competence. Researchers can also involve community members for better outcomes and to improve their knowledge regarding the vulnerable population. As noted, the example given of how the Hispanic community within the U.S region helped to promote inclusion and equity in research reflects that positive outcomes towards mitigating the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among transgender people can be reached. Prevention of cultural bias is of significance if we are to come up with global health research findings that can be utilized to mitigate the high prevalence of HIV among transgender populations.
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