Some Transgender people have a great need to undergo physical changes to have the body more closely aligned to the experienced gender. For many members of this group hormone therapy, with- or without surgery, is medically necessary.
Until recently hormone therapy was available almost exclusively from a handful of endocrinologists who were rendering specialised transgender services in the public and private sector.
Of those patients who have to travel long distances and/or are unable to afford specialist care the vast majority will never have access to safe hormone therapy. Some of them sadly go without treatment and some resort to dangerous therapy with hormones obtained from non-medical sources.
To go some way towards addressing this problem the South African Trans Health Initiative in partnership with the Groote Schuur Hospital Transgender Unit developed a system of technical support and tools to assist the general practitioner who may be approached by a transgender patient for hormonal therapy.
It is now possible for a transgender person to get hormone therapy from a general practitioner in a primary care setting and an increasing number of patients are receiving therapy much closer to home and at reduced cost.
The general practitioner can now download the following documents from this website:
South African Gender Affirming Healthcare Guidelines that is a practical clinical guide
General Practitioners who are considering initiating therapy for the first time or who otherwise need further professional advice are encouraged to consult with the Transgender team members attached to the departments of Psychiatry and/or Endocrinology at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town.
Please contact Dr Elma de Vries on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People V8
Background: Transgender healthcare is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field. In the last decade, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number and visibility of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people seeking support and gender-affirming medical treatment in parallel with a significant rise in the scientific literature in this area. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) is an international, multidisciplinary, professional association whose mission is to promote evidence-based care, education, research, public policy, and respect in transgender health. One of the main functions of WPATH is to promote the highest standards of health care for TGD people through the Standards of Care (SOC). The SOC was initially developed in 1979 and the last version (SOC-7) was published in 2012. In view of the increasing scientific evidence, WPATH commissioned a new version of the Standards of Care, the SOC-8.
Aim: The overall goal of SOC-8 is to provide health care professionals (HCPs) with clinical guidance to assist TGD people in accessing safe and effective pathways to achieving lasting personal comfort with their gendered selves with the aim of optimizing their overall physical health, psychological well-being, and self-fulfillment.