Transgender communities in the United States are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection. For more information, visit this CDC website.
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Persons who are transgender identify as a gender that is not congruent with the gender they were assigned at birth. Transgender women (“trans-women” or “transgender male to female”) identify as women but were born with male anatomy. Transgender men (also referred to as “trans-men” or “transgender female to male”) identify as men but were born with female anatomy. However, transgender persons might use different and often fluid terminology to refer to themselves through their life course. Gender identity is independent from sexual orientation. Persons who are transgender might have sex with men, women, or both and consider themselves to be heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Healthcare providers should assess STI and HIV related risks for their transgender patients based on current anatomy and sexual behaviors. Because of the diversity of transgender persons regarding surgical affirming procedures, hormone use, and their patterns of sexual behavior, providers must remain aware of symptoms consistent with common STIs and screen for asymptomatic STIs on the basis of behavioral history and sexual practices.
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