Transgender Spectrum Youth Health: they2ze Mobile App

YTH is working with funding from the National Library of Medicine [NLM] to focus on reducing HIV among transgender-spectrum youth and enhancing overall transgender-spectrum youth health during the 2016-2017 AIDS Community Information Outreach Program [ACIOP].

In collaboration with the community, YTH is focusing on the HIV/AIDS epidemic among transgender-spectrum youth [TSY] in the San Francisco Bay Area, our project, titled they2ze, is an innovative tool that collates health resources and services that are transgender-spectrum serving in the Bay Area. In the form of a mobile application [app], they2ze includes a database of health services and NLM information on HIV/AIDS, testing, and PrEP to empower TSY to access health services.

they2ze CAB in action

The new they2ze app offers multiple functions that are youth-centered and co-built alongside TSY. We are working with a community advisory board [CAB] comprised of young people who identify within the transgender-spectrum to create a truly successful program and app. With the help of the CAB, they2ze will include service ratings similar to the Yelp rating database, which will allow users to see peer ratings of services, doctors, testing sites, and clinics.

they2ze also supports health and service providers with access to transgender-spectrum resources, information, and best practices, which will enhance provider competency when working with TSY. “they2ze can alleviate the issue of provider stigma, which is often a barrier to inclusive services for TSY. Items such as sample intake forms, referrals, and more will be available to providers directly,” says Cara Silva, Director of Programs at YTH. “All of which work together to provide wrap-around support, from the young person to the providers who serve them.”

The app will also allow users to sort services by gender identity and location, which will simplify the process of finding a health service that is applicable to every user. “Some of the problems many young people face–particularly young folks who identify as genderqueer–is finding a service that explicitly supports and serves them,” says Jay Lykens, Program Coordinator at YTH. “Some services are framed or geared only towards those who identify as transgender women or transgender men. We want to make sure those are included, but also expand service access to everyone within the transgender-spectrum.” Considering that nearly 16% of transgender-spectrum individuals identify as genderqueer, they2ze will provide this vital health information to a community in need.

The downloadable version of they2ze is expected to be available on both the iTunes store and Google Play in spring 2017. For more information about they2ze and YTH, visit our project page or contact the Program Coordinator at [email protected].