The Impact of COVID-19 on Economic Well-Being and Health Outcomes Among Transgender Women in India

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Transgender Health, Volume x, Issue x (2021)



Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)–related lockdowns in India have disrupted the meager sources of income of many transgender women, including those in the hijra subculture who largely rely on money from providing blessings, begging, and sex work. Many have expended savings and taken high-interest loans, contributing to psychological distress. For hijras engaged in sex work, challenges to negotiating condom use and adhering to COVID-19 protective measures increase risks for contracting HIV and COVID-19 amid decreased access to HIV services. Many transgender women face challenges accessing COVID-19–related government welfare programs as they lack legal gender identity documents. Multisectoral and transgender-competent approaches are needed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.