Wednesday, June 23, 2010

At Long Last…

A project that I have been working on is finally taking a big step forward today. I am a part of team that is conducting research in the greater Hartford area to study the transgender population. I have been working with the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective (HGLHC) and the Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition (CTAC) in conjunction with Community Health Action, Innovation and Networking (CHAIN) and the Institute for Community Research (ICR) to study AIDS/HIV in the transgender community.

We have been working for over a year developing the survey and procedures for the research project. It has been a long slow drawn out process, but a fantastic learning opportunity. This winter in my Research II class when we were talking how to conduct a research project, I was actually working on a project. HGLHC and CTAC received a grant from Yale’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) for this study. We have been working with the CHAIN and ICR staff to develop the research project; we hope to survey the transgender community in Hartford to get an idea of the size of the transgender population and the risk to the community for AIDS/HIV. Like all projects, we had to give this a fancy name, so this project is know as the T.R.A.N.S. Project or the Transgender Regional Area Network Survey Project. Because this project is funding by the National Institute for Health (NIH), I had to be certified to work with human subject and we had to go before the Institute Review Board (IRB) to check to see if we are following all the federal guideline for working with people. This fit in to my class studies perfectly when we were talking about IRB’s, I had already gone before an IRB hearing.

Today, we are having a focus group take the survey and tell us what they think of the survey. They then will go out and recruit others to come in and take the survey. Hopefully, over the next several months we will survey at least 200 trans-people so that we can develop an idea of the size of the trans-community in the Hartford and the risk of AIDS/HIV in the community.

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