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Sex Transm Dis. 2016 Jul;43(7):407-11. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000452.

Prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Infections Among Transgender Persons Referred to an Italian Center for Total Sex Reassignment Surgery.

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From the *Infectious Diseases Unit, †Urology Department, ‡Department of Transfusion Medicine, and §Department of Medical Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.



The burden of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in transgender population is an underestimated issue. We performed a study to evaluate the prevalence of such infections in transgender persons addressed our center for total sex reassignment surgery (SRS).


All transgender persons undergoing SRS from 2000 to 2014 were evaluated retrospectively. Participant characteristics and results of HIV, HBV, and HCV testing were collected. Exact Fisher test, Cochran-Armitage tests for trend and correct prevalence ratios were estimated.


Among 498 transgender persons, 243 had confirmed serological data. Of them, 25 were female-to-male and 218 male-to-female (MtF) subjects. The prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV infections was 0%, 4.0%, and 8.0% in female-to-male, and 12.1%, 4.6%, and 3.7% in MtF. Among MtF, younger age and earlier year of SRS were associated with lower HIV prevalence. From the multivariate model, the mutually adjustment prevalence ratios were 1.9 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.2-3.1) for SRS in 2005-2010 and 3.6 (95% CI, 1.3-9.4) in 2010-2014, as compared with SRS in 2000-2004; and 4.7 (95% CI, 2.4-9.4) for South Americans as compared with others. Among the HCV-positive MtF, 57.1% were also HIV-positive. Regarding HBV, the immunity was 38.5% and, after mutual adjustment, the prevalence ratios were 2.1 (95% CI, 1.3-3.4) for South Americans versus others and 2.2 (95% CI, 1.6-3.1) for year of birth ≥ 1980.


The prevalence of HBV and HCV infections among our transgender persons overlaps that reported in the general population, but HCV prevalence was much higher in HIV-infected MtF. The high burden of HIV infection among MtF and its recent incremented prevalence points out that social and medical support should be strongly promoted in such population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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