Inconsistent Collection and Reporting of Gender Minority Data in HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Surveillance Across the United States in 2015

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Abstract

Objectives

To describe collection and reporting of gender data, including for transgender individuals and other gender minorities, in HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) surveillance in the United States.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional study of the top 50 US jurisdictions in 2015 for incident infections of HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or primary and secondary syphilis. For each jurisdiction, we described gender-reporting options on HIV and STI data collection forms (also called confidential morbidity report forms) and data surveillance reports, which present aggregate data at either the county or the state level.

Results

Seventy-one jurisdictions were among the top 50 for at least 1 infection, and we included them. Gender minority categories appeared on 60 of 71 (85%) HIV confidential morbidity report forms and 33 of 70 (47%) STI confidential morbidity report forms, and in 22 of 71 (31%) HIV surveillance reports and 8 of 71 (11%) STI surveillance reports.

Conclusions

Collection and reporting of gender data were suboptimal and inconsistent. Gender minority data were collected more often than reported, suggesting barriers to reporting. Health departments should standardize collection and reporting of gender data in HIV and STI surveillance to better inform prevention and control efforts.

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