HIV prevention and effective care reduces infection among transgender women
HIV prevention programs for transgender women reduce the spread of the virus, according to an analysis published in early February in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. However, according to experts, in order to increase the effectiveness of prevention and care in this group, work with it should be based on key demographic and social characteristics.
“Despite the relatively stable level of HIV prevalence [in the US, - Ed.], The infection still has a high level of coverage among transgender women - a pattern that is characteristic of most of the world,” said study lead author Dr. Henry Raymond of The Rutgers Global Health Institute.
“San Francisco is at the forefront of HIV prevention, care and treatment, so there is a wealth of data useful for monitoring the epidemic.”
According to Raymond, in the United States the rate of HIV infection among transgender women is generally higher than in other population groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM).
However, so far none of the previous studies have consistently studied the prevalence of HIV infection among transgender women.
“Since the trends characteristic of San Francisco may be identical to the trends in other places, such studies can help to obtain data to form the appropriate response to the epidemic,” says Raymond.
The team examined HIV prevalence among 866 transgender women in San Francisco by year (2010, 2013, and 2016), focusing on key demographic characteristics, including race / ethnicity, age, education, annual income, housing, and gender. identity. Scientists also checked whether HIV tests and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) were performed over the past year.
On average, almost a third of respondents were infected with HIV from 2010 to 2016, and 90% of them had a confirmed diagnosis. Among the participants, experts identified three waves:
African American transgender women who have a significantly higher chance of being HIV positive;
Older transgender women (aged 36–45 years) who have a higher chance of living with HIV than younger women;
Transgender women who had an incomplete / completed higher education who had the lowest risk of HIV infection in the group.
The lack of permanent housing was associated with an increased risk of infection and a lower level of treatment and care, but the study did not establish a link between the number of HIV + in this group and the increase in the number of homeless or shelter residents. According to Raymond, this indicates that housing assistance programs related to HIV treatment help the most vulnerable people.
“Although prevention programs such as outreach, distribution of condoms and tests can help reduce the number of new infections, we should focus on maximizing the quality of care for HIV-positive people and meeting their needs for stable housing,” he said. “This can only be achieved by constantly increasing the diagnostic coverage and performance of city authorities.”