HIV prevalence among transgender women in Northeast Brazil – Findings from two Respondent Driven Sampling studies

Academic Article


  • Background: The HIV epidemic still high among key-populations in Brazil, especially among transgender women (TGW). The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of HIV infection among TGW and to analyze factors associated with HIV seropositivity across two cross-sectional surveys conducted in Salvador, Bahia, one of the largest urban centers of Brazil. Methods: The studies were conducted between 2014 and 2016 and 2016-2017 and employed Respondent-Driven Sampling (RDS) sampling, comprising 127 and 161 TGW residents of Salvador, Bahia. The outcome was the positive rapid antigen testing for HIV infection. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were obtained using binomial logistic regression. Results: The HIV prevalence was 9.0% (95%CI: 4.2-18.2) and 24.3% (95%CI: 16.2-34.9). In the first study, factors associated with HIV prevalence were experiencing discrimination by the family (OR 8.22; 95%CI: 1.49-45.48) and by neighbors (OR 6.55; 95%CI: 1.12-38.14) as well as having syphilis (OR 6.56; 95%CI:1.11-38.65); in the subsequent study gender-based discrimination (OR 8.65; 95%CI:1.45-51.59) and having syphilis (OR 3.13; 95%CI: 1.45-51.59) were associated with testing positive for HIV. Conclusion: We found disproportionately high HIV prevalence among TGW, which underscores the context of vulnerability for this population. The data point to the urgency for intensification and expansion of access to HIV prevention and strategies to stop discrimination in health care and services for this population.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • BMC Public Health  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Leite BO; Magno L; Soares F; MacCarthy S; Brignol S; Bastos FI; Dourado I
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 1