Transgender people face multiple obstacles that may affect their ability to stay healthy and put them at risk for getting or transmitting HIV. The Transforming Health: Patient-Centered HIV Prevention and Care website contains information and materials for health care providers, whole-care teams, social service providers, and transgender people, with the goal of reducing new HIV infections and improving the health of transgender people who are living with HIV. Although content focuses on transgender women, many of the tools and information can be used to deliver patient-centered care for all transgender patients. Through the use of resource kit materials, health care providers can deliver patient-centered HIV care, increase the number of transgender people who get an HIV test and practice prevention strategies, and increase the number of HIV-positive transgender people who get and stay in care.
Transgender women and men are at high risk for getting HIV. According to current estimatesexternal icon, about 1 in 7 (14%) transgender women have HIV, and the percentage is much higher among black/African American (44%) and Hispanic/Latina (26%) transgender women.* An estimated 3% of transgender men have HIV.
Expanding culturally appropriate, focused HIV testing efforts is one key to eliminating these disparities and reducing HIV’s impact on transgender communities. Everyone with HIV benefits from getting a diagnosis as early as possible and starting treatment right away. People with HIV who take antiretroviral therapy as prescribed and stay virally suppressed can live long, healthy lives and have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to partners. For people at risk of getting HIV but who do not have the virus, testing can be the door to effective prevention options like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Many transgender people face obstacles that make it harder to access HIV services—such as stigma and discrimination, inadequate employment or housing, and limited access to welcoming, supportive health care. Addressing these barriers is essential to the health and well-being of transgender people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to working with health care providers to make sure all transgender people can get the tools they need to prevent HIV and stay healthy if they have HIV. Transforming Health gives providers tools for delivering patient-centered HIV care for all transgender patients.
*Estimates for transgender women overall and transgender men include laboratory-confirmed infections only. Estimates by race/ethnicity include laboratory-confirmed and self-reported infections.
- Herbst JH, Jacobs ED, Finlayson TJ, McKleroy VS, Neumann MS, Crepaz N; HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Synthesis Team. Estimating HIV prevalence and risk behaviors of transgender persons in the United States: a systematic review. AIDS Behav. 2008 Jan; 12(1):1-17.
- Clark H, Babu AS, Wiewel EW, Opoku J, Crepaz N. Diagnosed HIV Infection in Transgender Adults and Adolescents: Results from the National HIV Surveillance System, 2009-2014. AIDS Behav (2017) 21:2774–2783.
- National Academy of Medicine. The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people: building a foundation for better understanding. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011. Available from: www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13128external icon
- Pew Research Center. A survey of LGBT Americans [Internet]. 2013, Jun 13 [cited 2016 Dec 14]. Available from: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/06/13/a-survey-of-lgbt-americans/external icon
- Grant J, Mottet LA, Tanis J, Harrison J, Herman JL, Keisling M. Injustice at every turn: a report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey [Internet]. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality and
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 2011. [cited 2016 Aug 31]. 220 p. Available from: https://www.thetaskforce.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/ntds_full.pdfpdf iconexternal icon