Towards Transformative Healthcare: Asia Pacific Trans Health and Rights Module

Drawing from global and regional research and  guidance on the health of trans and gender-diverse people, APTN’s Towards Transformative Healthcare (TTHM) Module, uses a rights-based approach to health to empower trans people to know and claim their rights and health professionals to be knowledgeable and support trans individuals along their medical journey. 

In creating a module that specifically addresses the Asia and Pacific region, we are able to highlight important nuances and create a resource that provides culturally sensitive and thoughtful healthcare that can be applied throughout the region. This Module departs from pathologising healthcare models, and moves towards transformative, community-centered, rights-based healthcare, while recognising the diverse range of laws, medicine, and resources that are available in the region.

This resource echoes the approach taken in the Standards of Care (SOC) developed by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) by emphasizing core principles that can be applied in by health professionals even in areas with limited resources and training opportunities (Coleman et al, 2012). It also notes that ensuring trans people have access to acceptable and quality healthcare services, including gender-affirming healthcare, is vital in order to achieve HIV epidemic control for this key population.

About the Module

APTN’s Towards Transformative Healthcare: Asia Pacific Trans Health and Rights Module is an introductory resource on trans competent and gender-affirming healthcare for medical professionals and other healthcare workers in Asia and the Pacific, particularly those in primary care including community-based health services. 

Through a self-paced and interactive course, the Toward Transformative Healthcare Module (TTHM) will increase healthcare providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills on providing trans clinical and culturally competent care. There are 12 topics, covering everything from gender diversity across the region, to tips on how to create an affirming and welcoming environment for trans patients, to specific healthcare considerations for trans individuals related to mental health, sexual and reproductive health, gender-affirming care, and more.

After completing this module, you will have knowledge of current standards of care for trans patients and  be able to confidently provide healthcare services aligned with global best practices and be able to make your trans patients feel welcomed and affirmed in your clinic. 

Course Curriculum

Topic 1: Terminology
Topic 2: Minority stress and mental health and wellbeing
Topic 3: Depathologization, Informed Consent and Gender-affirming Healthcare Models
Topic 4: Creating an affirming and inclusive environment
Topic 5: General Prevention and Screening
Topic 6: Sexual and reproductive health
Topic 7: HIV prevention, care, and treatment
Topic 8: Gender-affirming hormones
Topic 9: Other non-surgical forms of gender-affirming healthcare
Topic 10: Gender-affirming healthcare using surgery
Topic 11: Supporting gender diverse children and young people
Topic 12: Advocating for the health and human rights of trans people

The Module is Available in 3 Formats

The Learning HandbookThe Online CourseThe Trans Health Toolkit
A hard-copy of APTN’s Towards Transformative Healthcare Module, the handbook is a great resource for Health Care Providers, including Peer Providers, to have on hand. The handbook includes self-reflection exercises, with space in the book to think, answer, and reflect on your learnings.Offered on Thinkific, the Trans Health and Rights Module, is a self-paced and interactive course, with different lesson types, self-reflection exercises, practice points and additional resources so that you can employ the lessons from the module into your own practice.
Earn a certificate of completion!
A set of complimentary powerpoints following the Trans Health and Rights Module, that can be used in trans health workshops. Currently available in English and 8 languages. 
APTN encourages the toolkits be customized for local use. 
Currently Available in: 
Tok Pisin

*Designed Versions
Currently Available in: 

Coming Soon: Laos
Currently Available in: 
Tok Pisin
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Translations Coming Soon: Bahasa Indonesia 

APTN wants to ensure that this resource is available and accessible in multiple languages. 

Want to help APTN translate the Trans Health & Rights Module in your language? Contact hello@weareaptn. 

Trans Health Video Series

To supplement the Module, APTN has developed a series of videos to supplement the Module and bring nuance from the stories of trans community members and the health care providers who serve them around the Asia and Pacific region.

Terminology Matters: Cultural Diversity of Transgender People in Asia Pacific
In this video, we will be discussing the common terminologies used in the region and how they can be problematic or empowering for transgender individuals. We will also be highlighting the importance of expanding our knowledge on SOGIESC to ensure that healthcare providers can provide the best care possible for transgender individuals.

Gender-Affirming Healthcare: A Right, Not a Privilege
In this video, we will be sharing the personal stories of transgender individuals from around the Asia Pacific region about their relationship to and experience with gender-affirming healthcare including hormones and surgeries. They will share their perspectives on the importance of healthcare professionals being knowledgeable and supportive about gender-affirming healthcare.

Growing Up Trans: Trans Youth and Parental Support in Asia Pacific
In this video, we will be hearing from transgender youth in the Asia Pacific region about their experiences with their parents and the struggles they have faced as a transgender youth. This resource is particularly valuable for parents of transgender youth, as it equips them with the tools to support their children’s healthcare needs.

Beyond Surgery: Understanding Non-Surgical Care for Transgender Individuals in Asia Pacific
In this video, we will explore the challenges that transgender people face in accessing non-surgical care and the ways in which healthcare providers can support them in their journey towards gender-affirming care. Through personal stories and interviews with experts in the field, we will learn about the different types of non-surgical care available and how they can positively impact the lives of transgender individuals.

The Cost of Stigma: Transgender Individuals Living with HIV in Asia Pacific and Their Struggle to Access Healthcare
This video shares the personal stories of transgender individuals from around the Asia Pacific region living with HIV. Through their experiences, we’ll explore how access to transformative healthcare can positively impact their lives and well-being. We will hear from individuals who have faced stigma and discrimination in their healthcare journeys and how access to gender-affirming healthcare can help manage HIV and improve their quality of life.

Development of the Resource

Trans organisations and health providers came together in collaboration from across the region to develop a rights-based, community-centered approach to providing trans-competent healthcare.

Before starting to create this resource, APTN reached out to health professionals and trans community leaders across the region who advocate for trans people’s access to healthcare. They were sent a short survey to identify the topics that should be included in the resource and to suggest possible material to incorporate into this module. 

The draft module went through two rounds of peer review. APTN is immensely grateful to all the peer reviewers, including health professionals, community members, technical advisors and more from over 5 countries.

This resource was developed with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC) Project, and from the Global Equality Fund (GEF) and Robert Carr Fund for Civil Society Networks (RCF).