HIV and Transgender People: Viral Suppression
Viral suppression is the percentage of people with diagnosed HIV who have less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.
It is important for transgender people to know their HIV status so they can take medicine to treat HIV if they have the virus. Taking HIV medicine every day can make the viral load undetectable. People who get and keep an undetectable viral load (or remain virally suppressed) can stay healthy for many years and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their sex partners.
*Had 2 viral load or CD4 tests at least 3 months apart in a year.
†Had less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood on most recent viral load test.
Source: CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomespdf icon (slides).
Although many people taking HIV medicine are virally suppressed, some people with HIV who are taking HIV medicine are currently not virally suppressed or do not maintain viral suppression over time. Some challenges with achieving and maintaining viral suppression include missing multiple doses of HIV treatment, missing medical appointments, or needing other important health care services.
Social and economic issues—such as homelessness, depression, and stigma—have prevented some transgender people from getting the HIV care and treatment they need. These factors make it difficult for some transgender people with HIV to achieve and maintain viral suppression.
In 2018, there were 113 deaths among transgender people with diagnosed HIV in the US and dependent areas. These deaths could be from any cause.
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