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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Social Network Organization, Structure, and Patterns of Influence Within a Community of Transgender Women in Lima, Peru: Implications for Biomedical HIV Prevention.

  • Author(s): Clark, JL
  • Perez-Brumer, AG
  • Reisner, SL
  • Salazar, X
  • McLean, S
  • Huerta, L
  • Silva-Santisteban, A
  • Moriarty, KM
  • Mimiaga, MJ
  • Sanchez, J
  • Mayer, KH
  • Lama, JR
  • et al.

Understanding social network structures can contribute to the introduction of new HIV prevention strategies with socially marginalized populations like transgender women (TW). We conducted 20 semi-structured interviews and four focus groups (n = 32) with TW from selected social networks in Lima, Peru between May and July, 2015. Participants described layers of social influence from diverse actors in their social networks. The majority identified a close relative as their primary social support, with whom they confided secrets but avoided issues of transgender identity, sexuality, and sex work. Participants described close circles of TW friends with whom they shared information about gender identity, body modification, and sexual partners, but avoided issues like HIV. Community leadership included political leaders (who advocated for transgender rights) as well as social leaders (who introduced TW to hormone therapy, body modification, and commercial sex). Detailed analysis of TW social networks can contribute to implementation and acceptability of new HIV prevention technologies.

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