THE launch of a new autonomous network targeting trans men who have sex with other men (TMSM) will help address HIV prevention in the trans* community, where the topic is often given less attention.

The formation of Peer Advocacy Network for the Sexual Health of Trans Masculinities — or PASH.™ — has been welcomed by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), who also host the group’s website.

“Currently trans men who have sex with other gay, bisexual and queer cisgender men are not part of the ongoing conversation on HIV biomedical prevention, and they are missing out on important information regarding effective risk reduction strategies and health promotion messaging,” AFAO acting executive director Linda Forbes said.

“The launch of PASH.™ is a great development and AFAO will be consulting with (them) to ensure that HIV prevention messages reach this marginalised population.”

Ted Cook, Jez Pez, Aram Hosie and Eden St James founded the network, and each have a background in sexual health peer advocacy for trans male communities.

“PASH.™ was born out of our shared passion and dedication to provide equitable health promotion and HIV/STI prevention work to trans masculine people who are engaging in sexual activities with cisgender gay, bisexual and queer men.” Pez said.

Cook said the group formed in response to the insufficient networks in place for TMSM, and the need to apply specific strategies in HIV prevention work.

“This is an opportunity to build upon knowledge gained over the last 30 years in responding to HIV, and apply specific and targeted HIV prevention approaches to a population that is currently at risk,” he said.

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