CDC Highlights Need for HIV Prevention and Treatment Services Among Transgender Women

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report finding that four in 10 transgender women surveyed in seven major U.S. cities have HIV. The report also revealed that nearly two-thirds of African American/Black transgender women and more than one-third of Hispanic/Latina transgender women surveyed have HIV. The CDC report is one of the most comprehensive surveys of transgender women in the U.S. to date, incorporating findings from interviews with over 1,600 transgender women living in Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other U.S. cities.

According to the CDC, the findings demonstrate a pressing need for scaled-up HIV prevention and care strategies for transgender women. Stark racial and ethnic differences in HIV rates among survey respondents were identified, and nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed lived at or below the poverty level with 42 percent experiencing homelessness in the past 12 months. The study found also that only 32 percent of participants without HIV reported using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which may be due to medical mistrust due to experiences of transphobia, lack of trans-inclusive marketing, and concerns about drug interactions between hormones and PrEP.

The CDC report outlines a series of other health conditions and risk factors among transgender women. A news release on the study is available here. The full CDC report is available here.