HIV Prevalence, Risk Behavior, Hormone Use and Surgical History Among Transgender Persons in Thailand
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While Male-to-female transgender persons (TG) are believed to often engage in sex work and have high HIV infection risk, little is known about demographics, surgical and hormone use history, risk behaviors and HIV prevalence. Between March and October 2005, 474 TG from Bangkok, Chiangmai, and Phuket were surveyed using venue-day-time sampling. Of 474 participants, overall HIV prevalence was 13.5%. Most participants had completed at least secondary or vocational education (79.2%), gender self-identified as female (89.0%), had received money, gifts or valuables for sex (60.8%), and reported hormone use (88.6%). Surgical history was taken from 325 participants. Of these, 68.6% reported some form of surgery and 11.1% had undergone penile-vaginal reconstructive surgery. In multivariate analysis, being recruited from a park/street; older age, anal sex role identification as “versatile” and anal sex debut before age 13 were independently associated with HIV prevalence. The development, implementation and evaluation of culturally appropriate sexual health interventions for Thai TG is urgently needed.
KeywordsMen who have sex with men Transgender HIV/AIDS Hormone use Silicone injection Thailand
The authors are grateful to the participants in the assessment. We would like to thank the following individuals for contributing to this assessment: S. Naorat, P. Akarasewi, C. Kittinunvorakoon, P. Wasinrapee, S. Kurachit, B. Jumtee, N. Tippanont, T. Chemnasiri, and W. Thienkrua of the Thailand Ministry of Public Health—U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Collaboration; S. Thanprasertsuk and P. Sirivongrangson of the Dept of Disease Control, Thailand Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi; S. Tantipaibulvut, A. Jamrasrak and P. Chuariyakul of the AIDS Research Centre, Thai Red Cross Society; and K. Kanggarnrua, D. Linjongrat and P. Chanlearn of the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand. The assessment was supported by the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This paper was completed as part of TE Guadamuz’s dissertation in the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. TE Guadamuz was supported by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31 AI064144) from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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