Background: Transgender individuals do not access health services well, including STD services. The purpose of the study is to provide a forum for transgender M-F to communicate their perceived risks for HIV/STDs and their preferred methods of service acquisition.
Methods: Transgender M-F were recruited by two primary investigators, 1 male and 1 female. Participants were recruited at a bar frequented by the transgender community, an HIV prevention agency primarily serving African-American LGBT, and a public STD clinic. The instrument used was an 18 question survey. Data was entered into Excel and analyzed in SPSS. This study is IRB approved.
Results: The study included 20 respondents. Of the respondents, 14 were African-American, 4 were Hispanic/Latino, 1 was White, and 1 was Bi-Racial. The average age of respondents was 29 years of age. In the last six months, 60% (n=12) had 1-5 partners and 25% (n=5) had 16 or more partners. Sex work was prevalent among respondents with 30% (n=6) exchanging sex for commodities, such as money, drugs, or a place to stay. The majority of respondents 55% (n=11) perceived themselves as low risk for contracting an STD. The majority of respondents 95% (n=19) are tested annually, however, only 25% (n=5) get tested every 3 months. When accessing testing 30% (n=6) preferred to receive testing services at a non-STD clinic site. An additional 10% (n=2) utilized both a non-STD clinic site and local STD clinic.
Conclusions: Their perceived risk likely has impacted the frequency in which they seek out services. When they do seek out services, the most preferred method in in a non-clinical setting. Despite substantial number of respondents having 16 or more partners and/or exchanging sex for commodities, respondents mostly perceived themselves at low risk for contracting STDs.