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Trans minority
youth at high risk for HIV

Trans minority
youth at high risk for HIV

Study shows male-to-female transgender minority youths face high HIV risks.

A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that male-to-female transgender ethnic-minority youths commonly engage in high-risk sexual activities that put them at risk for HIV infection. The study of 51 young people ages 16-25 showed that 49% reported unprotected receptive anal intercourse with at least one man during the previous year. The survey also showed that 53% had sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs; 71% used marijuana; 65% used alcohol; 18% had been homeless at some point in their lives; 59% had exchanged sex for money, food, or shelter; and 52% had been forced to have sex at least once in their lives. Twenty-two percent of the young transgender people surveyed were HIV-positive.

The researchers conclude that additional research is needed to understand the many issues affecting male-to-female transgender youth as a starting point in helping to craft effective risk-reduction programs for them. Currently, transgender youth "have many unmet needs and are at extreme risk of acquiring HIV," they wrote. (The Advocate)

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