by Kira Lingala
You may know that gay and bisexual men are at increased risk for some forms of hepatitis. But this disease can affect anyone who engages in certain behavior, especially transgender, gender-non-confirming, and nonbinary individuals.
If you self inject hormones, fillers, or drugs, you may be at risk of contracting Hepatitis C. Not everyone has access to the supervision or care of a doctor, but there are still ways to keep you safe if you make the decision to inject hormones, fillers, or drugs yourself.
The first step is knowing how to inject yourself safely. You can find easy instructions on how to do so here.
Once you know how to inject safely, it is important that you always use a clean needle for each injection and never share needles with others. Sharing needles puts you and those you share with at an even greater risk of contracting Hepatitis C. Find out where you can exchange needles in New York here.
TGNCNB (TransGender, Non-Conforming, Non-Binary) folks who don’t self-inject may still contract Hepatitis C, as well as A or B, from close contact and sex with those who are infected. For this reason, it’s important for all of us to get tested regularly. Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevents challenges to testing, members of the TGNCNB communities who are interested in Hep C screenings can contact LOFT staff to learn about available options.
Would you like to learn more?
- Getting Tested for Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis C Facts
- Hepatitis and Drug Injection
- The Differences Between Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Hepatitis A Fact Sheet
- Viral Hepatitis and Gay Men
TGNCNB individuals can also contact The LOFT’s PROUDWST Me program for more information about Hep C and other STIs, as well as support toward achieving your health-related goals
As a Peer Navigator for The LOFT’s PROUDWST Me program, Kira helps to engage members of the TGNCNB community in achieving their health goals, fulfilling their needs, and educating them on the importance of healthy behaviors.