World AIDS Day and the transgender community










December 1st marks World AIDS Day, a time for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have passed. This is an especially important day for transgender community, which is disproportionately affected by HIV compared to the general population.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that HIV prevalence for transgender women is nearly 50 times as high as for other adults. In addition, transgender women are 34 times more likely to have HIV than other women. Research findings have shown that 27.7% of transgender women tested positive for HIV and that 73% of those who tested HIV-positive were unaware of their status.

Compared to transgender women, transgender men’s sexual health has been understudied. However, there is evidence of risk among the subgroup of transgender gay men. One study showed that a majority of transgender men did not use condoms consistently during receptive sex with non-trans male partners, which put them at greater risk. Moving forward, there is much more research that needs to be done to fully understand the experience of transgender men.

It is also important to recognize disparities within the transgender population. Among transgender people in 2010, the highest percentages of newly identified HIV-positive test results were among racial and ethnic minorities: blacks/African Americans comprised 4.1% of newly identified HIV-positive test results, followed by Latinos (3.0%), American Indians/ Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (both 2.0%), and whites (1.0%).

There are many factors that contribute to the high prevalence of HIV in the transgender community, including the incredible amount of violence, stigma, discrimination, and marginalization directed toward trans people.

To get involved in World AIDS Day and spread awareness, share GLAAD's graphic below or visit our partners' sites for more information on how to take a stand each and every day in the fight against HIV and AIDS.