Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Community Health Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Annie Sondag

Commitee Members

Gene Burns, Kari Harris


transgender, HIV, assessment, community, montana


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Community Health


Transgender individuals face a unique set of challenges in their day to day lives. While issues regarding stigma and discrimination are well documented in the literature, most of the information about transgender people has been gathered in urban settings. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore factors that influence quality of life and risk of infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C (HCV), Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) among transgender people living in Montana. A questionnaire was developed after a thorough review of the literature as well as a review of existing assessments. The questionnaire was reviewed by a panel of experts and pilot tested with a small sample of the transgender population. To recruit participants to complete the questionnaire, the link was posted on various websites that are frequented by transgender people. In addition, the questionnaire link was sent via email to individuals who are either transgender, or work in communities with transgender people. A descriptive analysis was used to describe various factors asked about on the questionnaire and an analytical cross-sectional approach was used to investigate the association between risk factors and specific health outcomes. One hundred and eleven individuals responded to the questionnaire. One person reported being HIV positive and no one reported being infected with HCV. The relatively small sample size makes it difficult to draw conclusion about rates of these two infections, although STD’s prevalence rates were high. High rates of suicide and mental health disorders were also found, in addition to stigma and discrimination experienced by our participants. Results from this study provided a first glimpse into the lives of transgender people living in Montana. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and other health care organizations used this information to create interventions that are tailored to the unique needs of this population.



© Copyright 2015 Karishma Chainani