To reduce HIV/AIDS rates among transgender women in Hudson County, New Jersey, two local organizations have committed to developing a new intervention program in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hunter College Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) and Hudson Pride Connections (HPC) will create a program that promotes safer-sex practices, treats substance abuse and maintains general health.

“The most telling thing about our existing transgender client base is the fact that they have nowhere else to turn,” said Guido Sanchez, director of HPC. “This marginalization makes the risk of HIV a startling reality—one that none of us should accept.”

The program is part of a CDC initiative to work with local groups to develop new interventions. This project is based on an HPC initiative titled Girls Living in the Trans Zone (GLITZ).

“Ultimately, this could have a tremendous impact on the health of transgender women,” said Jeffrey Parsons, PhD, director of CHEST.