Vivianna found out she was living with HIV while she was incarcerated. She talks about her transition and HIV diagnosis. Although it’s been hard, she has found a way to overcome her fear, and to accept herself.

It is safe for trans women to be on hormone therapy while taking medications to treat or prevent HIV. Under the care of a trained medical professional, you can safely transition with hormone therapy while on antiretrovirals (ARVs), the medications used to treat HIV. The same is true for PrEP, the pill to prevent HIV.

Let your doctor know about your physical and mental health, your sexual history, any medications or substances (legal or not) you’re taking, and trauma you’ve experienced.

DIY (do-it-yourself) hormone treatments outside of medical supervision are dangerous, regardless of your HIV status. There is no guarantee that hormones bought “off the street” or on the Internet are safe. Drugs may be mislabeled, tainted, or cause unexpected side effects that are irreversible – and can cause your HIV treatment or prevention meds to be less effective. And, never, ever, share needles or other injection equipment. HIV can be spread very easily this way.