Tuesday, April 19, 2016

HIV Prevalence and Risks Associated with HIV Infection among Transgender Individuals in Cambodia

Recognizing transgender individuals have a high risk of HIV acquisition, and to inform policies and programming, we conducted an HIV prevalence and risk behaviors survey among transgender individuals in Cambodia.

Cross-sectional survey using a respondent driven sampling method with self-administered audio-computer assisted interviews. HIV testing was performed prior to the questionnaire with results available immediately after. Eligible participants were ≥18 years, identified as male at birth and self-identified/expressed as a different gender, and reported having sex with at least one male partner in past year. From six major urban centers of Cambodia, 891 transgender individuals were recruited.

The majority of the 891 participants self-identified as third gender or female (94.5%), were young (median age 23, IQR [20-27]), had secondary education or higher (80.5%), not married (89.7%), and employed (90.2%). The majority had first sex before 18 years (66.8%), with a male (79.9%), 37.9% having been paid or paying for this first sex. The rate of HIV positivity among participants was found to be 4.15%. Consistent condom use with male and female partners was low with all partner types, but particularly low with male partners when paying for sex (20.3%). The majority of participants reported having experienced discrimination in their lifetime (54.8%) and 30.3% had been assaulted. Multivariate analysis revealed that older age (adjusted OR = 14.73 [4.20, 51.67] for age 35-44 and adjusted OR = 7.63 [2.55, 22.81] for age 30-34), only having a primary school education or no schooling at all (adjusted OR = 2.62 [1.18, 5.80], being a resident of Siem Reap (adjusted OR = 7.44 [2.37,23.29], receiving payment at first sex (adjusted OR = 2.26 [1.00, 5.11], having sex during/after using drugs (adjusted OR = 2.90 [1.09,7.73]), inconsistent condom use during last anal sex (adjusted OR = 3.84 [1.58, 9.33]), and reporting low self-esteem (adjusted OR = 3.25 [1.35,7.85]) were independently associated with HIV infection.

Below:  A. Condom use with partners during past 6 months by sex transaction type, with female partners. B. Condom use with partners during past 6 months by sex transaction type, with male partners.

This study confirms transgender individuals as one of the highest-risk groups for HIV infection in Cambodia. It suggests the need for programmatic strategies that mitigate identified associated risks and facilitate access to HIV care for this population.

Full article at:   http://goo.gl/MDR3Ih

  • 1FHI 360, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • 2National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, (NCHADS) and University of Health Science, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  • 3FHI 360, Bangkok, Thailand. 

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