Transgender women are 49 times more likely to be HIV positive

transgender protestors holding sign saying "we're not going to take it anymore!"

Internationally, HIV affects transgender women more than any other group according to a meta-analysis published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases

“Almost a fifth of transgender women worldwide are infected with HIV, results of a meta-analysis published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases shows. A total of 39 studies involving over 11,000 transgender women in 15 different countries were included in the study, which also found that prevalence of HIV among transgender women was massively higher than that seen in the general population.”

Overall, trans women were a shocking 49 times more likely to be infected with HIV compared to adults in the general population.

Of course, the usual suspects–stigma, discrimination, and exclusion from health care services–are implicated in these high numbers. “Few health-care workers, from HIV counselors to nurses and physicians, have received any training on addressing the specific health needs of transgender women,” note the authors of the study. They conclude that “present HIV surveillance and prevention interventions for transgender women are clearly inadequate…the findings of this meta-analysis make clear that urgency is needed to address this severe and widespread component of worldwide HIV.”

I completely agree. We have to include transgender folks in the dialogue about HIV and consider the needs of the most marginalized groups when designing services for prevention and treatment of the virus.

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Feministing's resident "sexpert", Sesali is a published writer and professional shit talker. She is a queer Black girl, fat girl, and trainer. She was the former Training Director at the United States Student Association and later a member of the Youth Organizing team at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She received her bachelors in Women's and Gender Studies from Depaul University in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. A self identified "trap" feminist, and trained with a reproductive justice background, her interests include the intersections of feminism and: pop culture, youth culture, social media, hip hop, girlhood, sexuality, race, gender, and Beyonce. Sesali joined the team in 2010 as one of the winners of our So You Think You Can Blog contest.

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