Risk Behaviors and Psychosocial Stressors in the New York City House Ball Community: A Comparison of Men and Transgender Women Who Have Sex with Men
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- Sanchez, T., Finlayson, T., Murrill, C. et al. AIDS Behav (2010) 14: 351. doi:10.1007/s10461-009-9610-6
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The New York City House Ball community consists of social networks of racial/ethnic minority gay, lesbian or bisexual men and women, and transgender persons. HIV seroprevalence and interview data were obtained from a sample of community members to identify statistical differences in HIV prevalence, risk behavior, and psychosocial stressors between men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. Of 301 MSM and 60 transgender women, 20% were HIV-infected and 73% were unaware of their infection, but rates did not differ by gender. Risk behavior and stressors were common in both groups, but transgender women were more likely to report exchange sex, stigmatization, and stressful life events. High rates of risk behavior and HIV in this special community warrant relevant HIV testing and prevention services. Transgender women in the community may be at even greater risk for HIV infection due to behaviors compounded by substantial psychosocial stressors.