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Sexual Risk Taking Among Transgender Male-to-Female Youths With Different Partner Types

August 26, 2010

Associations between partner types (main, casual or commercial) and sexual risk behaviors of sexually active male-to-female (transgender female) young people were examined in the current study.


In Los Angeles and Chicago, the researchers interviewed 120 transgender female youths ages 15 to 24. Participants were recruited from clinics, community-based agencies, clubs, bars, the streets, and through referrals.

The results indicated that sexual risk behaviors varied by type of partner. The transgender youths were less likely to use condoms during receptive anal intercourse with their main partner; they also were less likely to use a condom with a main partner while under the influence of substances. The youths were more likely to talk about their HIV status with a main partner. The study data found no demographic or social factors that predicted condom use during receptive anal intercourse by partner type.

"Research and interventions that focus on understanding and mitigating risk behaviors by partner type, especially those that tackle the unique risks incurred with main partners, may make important contributions to risk reduction among transgender female youths," the authors concluded.

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Adapted from:
American Journal of Public Health
08.2010; Vol. 100; No. 8: P. 1500-1505; Eric C. Wilson, Dr.P.H.; Robert Garofalo, M.D., M.P.H.; D. Robert Harris, Ph.D.; Marvin Belzer, M.D.

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More on Transgender People and HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Kelli B. (Fort Worth, Texas) Sat., Aug. 28, 2010 at 9:54 am UTC
Many transgender females, like myself, are very needful of validation and that insecurity leads to unsafe sex. In the past I used to have unprotected sex, but when I changed my attitude about my transition and became serious to becoming the person I known I can be that behaviour stopped.
Now I have become secure about my physical presentation and emotionally happy I attract unmarried, sober men and have a safe, sane dating life.

If young MTF can be helped to understand what lays beyond their present condition if they would only give it a chance we could reverse this sad social trend.
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Comment by: Stephanie (Raleigh, NC) Fri., Aug. 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm UTC
From th s article, the study doesn't appear to say much of anything. Transgender young adults tend to take less risks with monogamous or steady partners than they do in casual sexual encounters (which are more risky anyway). There are no real statistics given--i.e. how many transgender youth vs other populations, demographics on youth interviewed who are part of the bar scene vs those who are not, etc. So the only thing this really says is that transgender youth who practice safe sex take less risks than those who do not. Or is the point that transgender youth are capable of monogamy or safe sex practices? If so, is this really a surprise?
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