HIV Diagnoses and Care Among Transgender Persons and Comparison With Men Who Have Sex With Men: New York City, 2006-2011

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Abstract

Objectives

We measured HIV care outcomes of transgender persons, who have high HIV infection rates but are rarely distinguished from men who have sex with men (MSM) in HIV surveillance systems.

Methods

New York City’s surveillance registry includes HIV diagnoses since 2000 and HIV laboratory test results for transgender persons since 2005. We determined immunological status at diagnosis, delayed linkage to care, and nonachievement of viral suppression 1 year after diagnosis for transgender persons diagnosed with HIV in 2006 to 2011 and compared transgender women with MSM.

Results

In 2006 to 2011, 264 of 23 805 persons diagnosed with HIV were transgender (1%): 98% transgender women and 2% transgender men. Compared with MSM, transgender women had similar CD4 counts at diagnosis and rates of concurrent HIV/AIDS and delayed linkage to care but increased odds of not achieving suppression (adjusted odds ratio = 1.56; 95% confidence interval = 1.13, 2.16).

Conclusions

Compared with MSM, transgender women in New York City had similar immunological status at diagnosis but lagged in achieving viral suppression. To provide appropriate assistance along the HIV care continuum, HIV care providers should accurately identify transgender persons.

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