Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity or expression (masculine, feminine, other) is different from their sex (male, female) at birth. Gender identity refers to one’s internal understanding of one’s own gender, or the gender with which a person identifies. Gender expression is a term used to describe people’s outward presentation of their gender.
Because data for transgender people are not uniformly collected, information is lacking on how many transgender people in the United States are infected with HIV. However, data collected by local health departments and scientists studying these communities show high levels of HIV and racial/ethnic disparities.
Individual behaviors alone do not account for the disparate HIV diagnoses among transgender people. Many cultural, socioeconomic, and health-related factors contribute to these diagnoses and prevention challenges in transgender communities.