To study the influence of gender on HIV risk, a sample of the U.S. transgender population (N = 1,229) was recruited via the Internet. HIV risk and prevalence were lower than reported in prior studies of localized, urban samples but higher than the overall U.S. population. Findings suggest that gender nonconformity alone does not itself result in markedly higher HIV risk. Sex with nontransgender men emerged as the strongest independent predictor of unsafe sex for both male-to-female (MtF) and female-to-male (FtM) participants. These sexual relationships constitute a process that may either affirm or problematize gender identity and sexual orientation, with different emphases for MtFs and FtMs, respectively.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant 1R01DA015269 to W. O. B.) and the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (grant 9R01HD057595-04A1 to W. O. B.).
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- United States
- Unprotected sex