Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Transgender Persons: A Systematic Review

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Despite reportedly high rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among transgender people, laboratory-proven prevalence of these infections in this population has not been systematically reviewed. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the medical literature involving laboratory-proven HIV and STI diagnoses among transgender people. Methods: A systematic review of the English literature regarding laboratory-proven HIV and/or STI testing in transgender populations within the last 50 years was performed. Preliminary meta-analyses assessing the prevalence of HIV and STIs among both transgender men and transgender women were performed. Given the heterogeneity of included studies, these analyses were difficult to interpret and not included in our results. Results: Our literature review identified 25 studies, representing 11 countries. All of these studies included transgender women, with 9 (36%) including data on transgender men. HIV was the most commonly studied STI, with prevalence ranging from 0% to 49.6% in transgender women and 0% to 8.3% in transgender men. For syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, respectively, prevalence ranged from 1.4% to 50.4%, 2.1% to 19.1%, and 2.7% to 24.7% in transgender women and from 0% to 4.2%, 0% to 10.5%, and 1.2% to 11.1% in transgender men. Site-specific testing practices for gonorrhea and chlamydia were variable. No studies reported prevalence data on trichomoniasis. Conclusion: The literature describing STIs and transgender people primarily focuses on transgender women and HIV. Data involving HIV and STIs among transgender men are lacking. These findings highlight opportunities for the future study of epidemiology of HIV/STIs in transgender men and the relevance of STIs in transgender people.
  • Published In

  • Transgender Health  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Van Gerwen OT; Jani A; Long DM; Austin EL; Musgrove K; Muzny CA
  • Start Page

  • 90
  • End Page

  • 103
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 2