Health Information for Transgender
& Gender Variant Students


Some transgender people use hormones during an anatomical and/or psychological transition. If you are interested in taking hormones please talk to your health provider about exploring this option. It is important to be monitored by a health care professional to make sure that the hormones you are taking are safe for you. Hormones need time, not quantity, to work. Taking a greater amount of hormones does not mean the hormones will work faster.

Buying hormones that have not been prescribed for you from a healthcare provider you know can be harmful.

Always use a sterilized needle when injecting hormones. Sterile needles can be obtained from pharmacies with a prescription from a healthcare provider, or you can also buy sterile syringes and needles without a prescription at

If You Have It, Check It

Chest/Breast Self Exams should be performed every month.

Clinical Chest/Breast Exams are recommended once a year and are usually performed by a medical provider.

Mammograms are recommended once a year for people with breast tissue who are over age 40 or as determined by a health care provider.

Testicular Self Exam (TSE) should be performed once a month. Most cases of testicular cancer occur in those between the ages of 18-30.

Pelvic Exam and Pap Tests are recommended every year for people with a vagina, uterus, cervix and/or ovaries who are sexually active or over the age of 18. Schedule an exam
if you have:

  • Unusual vaginal or pelvic pain
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Pain, swelling, or tenderness of the vulva or vagina
  • Sores, lumps, or itching of the vulva or vagina

Anal Pap Tests can help detect the presence of certain sexually transmitted infections and test for abnormal cells on the wall of the rectum that may lead to anal cancer.

Prostate Exams are particularly important for those over the age of 50.

Talk with your health care provider about which of these exams is appropriate for you regardless of gender identity or expression.

Sexually Transmitted Infections and Safer Sex

Regardless of your identity and the identity of your sexual partner(s), if you are sexually active you are at risk for sexually transmitted infections. In fact, one out of four sexually active individuals will have a sexually transmitted infection at some point in their life. Very often signs and symptoms of STIs are not visible or present, so the only way to know is to have a medical provider test you for STIs.

At JMU, The University Health Center, Student Wellness & Outreach Services and the LGBT and Ally Education Program provides free condoms for all JMU students. Our REACH peer educators offer free education session on safer sex practices. Ask the practitioners in the UHC, or the peer educators how to turn these free condoms into dental dams.

Sexual Assault and Violence

Sexual violence can affect anyone, regardless of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Sexual violence can happen with someone you have just met, with an intimate partner, or with a stranger in a bias attack. Sometimes a person may have had a sexual encounter that has left them feeling confused, angry, or violated, but they have not defined their experience as sexual assault or sexual harassment. Your behavior/decisions do not cause sexual violence. No one asks to be sexually assaulted or sexually harassed. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, violence or harassment, contact the Sexual Assault Counselor or Student Wellness & Outreach at 540.568.2831

University Health Center (UHC)

The UHC Clinical office is located next to Burruss Hall, at the corner of Mason and Grace St, adjacent to Rockingham Memorial Hospital, MSC 7901,
Phone: 540.568.6178

Insurance Coverage

JMU Student Health Insurance (Academic HealthPlans) does not cover trans-related hormone therapy and trans-related surgeries.
Click here for more information.

HIV Testing

Due to state of Virginia funding reductions within the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area, the Health Center can no longer offer free/anonymous HIV testing.
Here are some options:
The University Health Center now offers confidential HIV/syphilis testing.
Call 540.568.6178 (choose option 1) and schedule an appointment

HIV test is $5.00
Syphilis test is $5.00
HIV/Syphillis test results will be emailed in 3-5 days
STI/HIV/Syphillis test results will be emailed in 2-3 weeks
The window period for HIV infection is 3-6 months from date of contact

Another suggestion....
Contact your local Health Department in your home town. They may have a program that provides free or lower-cost HIV testing.

Patient Advocacy

At James Madison University Health Center, all of our staff members understand ourselves to be partners with patients and other users of our services and advocates for their care, recovery and health. We hope everyone who uses our services will ask questions, state needs, express concerns or problems, and offer feedback to any staff person involved in their care or in administrative processes connected with their visit. If you come across a situation in which you need more help, please contact the UHC Patient Advocate. The Patient Advocate's office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (Thursdays 9:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

The University Health Center's
Student Wellness and Outreach

UHC's Student Wellness and Outreach is located in Warren Hall, Room 404 and 403, MSC 3535
Phone: 540.568.2831

The UHC’s Student Wellness and Outreach now includes the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention, The Women's Resource Center, Nurtrition Services and the LGBT & Ally Education Program.

The University Health Center's
Center for Alcohol and Substance Education

UHC - CA&SE is located in Warren 404 I, MSC 3535
Phone: 540.568.2831

The Counseling & Student Development Center

The Counseling & Student Development Center (CSDC) is located in Varner House. Varner House is on the Quad next to the James Madison Statue

CSDC is staffed by a psychiatrist, psychologists, counselors, social works and graduate students, and the services rendered to students are free, voluntary, and confidential. The Center's staff is dedicated to assisting students in their pursuit of personal and academic growth, to helping students gain a better understanding and appreciation of themselves, and to supporting students as they make important decisions about their lives.

10 Things Transgender Persons Should Discuss with Their Health Care Providers - Word Doc

Last Modified September 3, 2010 2:51 PM