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Testosterone Shortage Puts Trans Men at Risk

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This story was originally published by Global Press Journal.CHIAPAS, MEXICO — When Thomas Chiu Palomeque saw on social media that there was a shortage of hormone-replacement testosterone in Mexico City, he prayed that it wouldn’t affect his home state of Chiapas.

Chiu Palomeque, who lives in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, had recently begun taking testosterone to help transition from female, the sex he was assigned at birth, to male.“One day, I wrote to all my friends that there aren’t any hormones left at the pharmacy downtown,” he says. “I told them I would go and check another one and, I was like ‘Phew!

They have it here. Yes! Come and get it here.’”But eventually, what Chiu Palomeque feared happened, and he ran out of testosterone drugs.

The first time he missed a dose, his menstruation came back. It was a heavier flow and more painful than before he began hormone-replacement therapy.“It’s as if knives are stabbing into my stomach,” Chiu Palomeque says.Low-cost testosterone, a drug trans men and transmasculine people use for hormone replacement therapy, has been in short supply since 2020, forcing patients across Mexico to either spend more money or suspend treatment.

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