SOC8!: WPATH Standards of Care Guidelines Update
In November 2018, 815 people met in Buenos Aires, Argentina to attend the 25th World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Conference. The attendees included community advocates and members, health care providers, and researchers from 26 countries and 6 continents. The topics covered included: the health outcomes and benefits of hormone use, hormone usage for gender diverse children, best approaches to surgical care for masculinizing and feminizing surgical procedures, ethical issues in transgender health research, reproductive health and fertility of transgender people, among many, many others.
The PRIDE Study and PRIDEnet were connected to and present at the conference in a couple of ways.
First, WPATH is one of our long-standing community partners and we applaud them for their work in bringing visibility, standardization, and rigorous respectful care to transgender and gender diverse people.
Second, PRIDEnet Participant Advisory Member — Dr. Asa Radix — is also one of the Co-Chairs of the revision of the WPATH Standards of Care Guidelines, affectionately known as the “SOC.” Currently in its 7th version (released in 2011), the SOC is the go-to source for health care providers, advocates, researchers, and community members for understanding the state of evidence and evidence-based care for transgender and gender diverse people. (You can link to the SOC7 here).
Finally, Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver, one of the Co-Directors of The PRIDE Study and PRIDEnet, is one of an international group of experts working to revise and update the SOC7 to its next version: SOC8! [Dr. Obedin-Maliver is a member of the Reproductive Health Working group and is leading discussions of contraception, abortion, and pregnancy care for transgender and gender diverse people.]
Dr. Asa Radix shares why being involved in the SOC8 process is so important: “These guidelines are used, not only for direct clinical care, but also by governments and other policy makers to improve access to gender affirming care for transgender and gender diverse people.”
For Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver, “changing guidelines is a critical step towards making change. Changing guidelines may not be sexy, but it has incredible impact. If we can make sure diverse experiences are represented in these guidelines and they are built on solid evidence — evidence that supports, among other things, the difference between sex and gender and that neither are binary, and the best ways to provide care for trans people — then we will give health care providers and the systems in which they work the concrete tools to make care meet the needs of trans community.”