Transgenders are likely HIV+

Posted on April 20, 2019

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a “Dear Colleague” letter Wednesday with warnings about the high prevalence and risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among transgender individuals. “Transgender women and men are at high risk for getting HIV,” stated CDC in the letter signed by Eugene McCray, M.D. and Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., MPH, of the agency’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. CDC, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), stated: “According to current estimates, about 1 in 7 (14%) transgender women have HIV, and the percentage is much higher among black/African American (44%) and Hispanic/Latina (26%) transgender women.* An estimated 3% of transgender men have HIV.” The “Dear Colleague” letter continued: “Many transgender people face obstacles that make it harder to access HIV services—such as stigma and discrimination, inadequate employment or housing, and limited access to welcoming, supportive health care. Addressing these barriers is essential to the health and well-being of transgender people and to meeting the goals of the proposed federal initiative Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to working with you to make sure all transgender people can get the tools they need to prevent HIV and stay healthy if they have HIV.”

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