Accessing sexual health services that are affirming of our gender can be hard. It’s not always comfortable for us to disclose our gender identities to our healthcare providers. And sometimes, even when we do disclose, a lack of knowledge about our health needs still makes access hard.
Getting the care that you need
Explore your options
Your options might include your family doctor, your campus health clinic, walk-in clinics, public health/sexual health clinics, anonymous STI/HIV testing sites, a local HIV organization, non-insured clinics, and Planned Parenthood.
Centre your needs
It’s OK to seek healthcare professionals who you’re compatible with, are knowledgeable about your concerns, and make you feel comfortable. It’s also OK to ask them for help with your needs—including your access needs. Sometimes, by stating your access needs (e.g., not being able to afford a treatment, not having health card access, etc.), you may learn new ways to access treatments and services.
We get to decide on our healthcare professionals
Referrals aren’t carved in stone. You have the right to look elsewhere, especially if you’re unhappy with the care you’re getting.
Decide in your own time
If you need it, give yourself time to think about any information you’ve been given before making decisions.
If necessary, get more help
Queer/trans health organizations or programs may be able to advocate on your behalf, connect you with resources, and provide support to your doctor—for example, around HPV and Hep A and B vaccinations, HIV medications, and PrEP/PEP for trans people (see PrEP and PEP).