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HIV Among Transgender People

April 15, 2015

Fast Facts
  • Transgender women are at high risk for HIV infection.
  • By race/ethnicity, black/African American transgender women have the highest percentage of new HIV-positive test results.
  • Efforts are under way to improve the quality of HIV data collected on transgender communities.

HIV Among Transgender People
Transgender communities in the United States are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection. The term gender identity refers to a person's basic sense of self, and transgender refers to people whose gender identity does not conform to a binary classification of gender based on biological sex, external genitalia, or their sex assigned at birth. It includes gender-nonconforming people with identities beyond the gender binary who self-identify as: male-to-female or transgender women; female-to-male or transgender men; two-spirit; and people who self-identify simply as women or men.

The Numbers

Because data for this population are not uniformly collected, information is lacking on how many transgender people in the United States are infected with HIV. However, data collected by local health departments and scientists studying these communities show high levels of HIV infection and racial/ethnic disparities.

Prevention Challenges


Individual behaviors alone do not account for the high burden of HIV infection among transgender people. Many cultural, socioeconomic, and health-related factors contribute to the HIV epidemic and prevention challenges in U.S. transgender communities.

What CDC Is Doing

CDC and its partners are pursuing a high-impact prevention approach to advance the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention methods among transgender people. Activities include:

For more information, visit CDC's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health website.


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Additional Resources

1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)

CDC HIV Website

CDC Act Against AIDS Campaign

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