Transgender communities in the United States (US) are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection. The term gender identity refers to a person's basic sense of self, of identifying as male, female, or some other gender (e.g., transgender, bigender, intersex). Transgender refers to people whose gender identity does not conform to norms and expectations traditionally associated with a binary classification of gender based on external genitalia, or, more simply, their sex assigned at birth. It includes people who self-identify as gender variant; male-to-female (MtF) or transgender women; female-to-male (FtM) or transgender men; many other gender nonconforming people with identities beyond the gender binary; and people who self-identify simply as female or male. Gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are separate, distinct concepts, none of which is necessarily linked to one's genital anatomy.
Because surveillance data for this population are not uniformly collected, information is lacking on how many transgender people in the US are infected with HIV. However, data collected by local health departments and scientists studying transgender people show high HIV positivity.
Data from CDC-funded HIV testing programs show high percentages of newly identified HIV infections among transgender people. In 2009, about 4,100 of 2.6 million HIV testing events were conducted with someone who identified as transgender. Newly identified HIV infection was 2.6% among transgender persons compared with 0.9% for males and 0.3% for females. Among transgender persons, the highest percentage of newly identified HIV infection was among blacks (4.4%) and Hispanics (2.5%). More than half (52%) of testing events with transgender persons occurred in non-clinical settings.
Complete article at The Body : http://bit.ly/qnBaCC