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Transgender Women 49 Times More Likely to Contract HIV

Transgender Women 49 Times More Likely to Contract HIV


A new look at the data shows shockingly high rates.

The World Health Organization released the results of a meta-analysis of data from 15 different countries showing that transgender women were nearly 49 times more likely to have HIV than the general population, according to NPR

Transgender women who were also sex workers were also nine times more likely to have HIV than trans women who were not sex workers, making them the most likely group to have HIV in the world.

The study included data only from countries that collect information on transgender populations and did not include countries from Eastern Europe or Africa. 

NPR did a fantastic interview with JoAnne Keatley, a transgender woman who works at the Center for Excellence for Transgender Health at University of California San Francisco. The interview seeks to get to the bottom of why transgender women, in particular sex workers, are at such a high risk. Keatley attributes this to discrimination and lack of health care. 

"And we see this repeated all over the world," Keatley said. "Transphobia is alive and well in many societies around the globe. And we see it play out in terms of verbal and physical violence, as well as denial of employment or education or familial support, or all kinds of ways in which transgender people are marginalized."

Listen to the whole interview here.


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