Four in 10 transgender women have HIV, which shows the urgent need to offer them more prevention and treatment services, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
In interviews with more than 1,600 transgender women in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle in 2019 and early 2020, researchers found that 42% of those with a valid HIV test result had HIV. Transgender women are those assigned male at birth and identify as female.
The report found significant racial and ethnic disparities. In all, 62% of Black transgender women and 35% of Hispanic transgender women had HIV, compared with 17% of white transgender women.
Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed lived at or below the poverty level. Forty-two percent had been homeless in the past year.
“These data provide a clear and compelling picture of the severe toll of HIV among transgender women and the social and economic factors—including systemic racism and transphobia—that are contributing to this unacceptable burden,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
The report was released in advance of National Transgender HIV Testing Day on April 18. Read more…