HIV Risk Perception, HIV Knowledge, and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Transgender Women in South Florida

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Transgender women experience a variety of factors that may contribute to HIV risk. The purpose of this study was to explore links among HIV risk perception, knowledge, and sexual risk behaviors of transgender women.

Design and Sample:

A descriptive, correlational study design was used. Fifty transgender women from the South Florida area were enrolled in the study.


Transgender women completed a demographic questionnaire and standardized instruments measuring HIV risk perception, knowledge, and sexual risk behaviors.


Transgender women reported low levels of HIV risk perception, and had knowledge deficits regarding HIV risk/transmission. Some participants engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors. Predictors of sexual risk behaviors among transgender women were identified.


More research is needed with a larger sample size to continue studying factors that contribute to sexual risk behaviors in the understudied population of transgender women. Evidence-based guidelines are available to assist public health nurses in providing care for transgender women. Nurses must assess HIV perception risk and HIV knowledge and provide relevant education to transgender women on ways to minimize sexual risk.

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