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Transgender women with HIV more likely to experience unmet needs for subsistence services

Transgender women with HIV were more likely than cisgender men with HIV to experience unmet needs for subsistence services, which is likely a reflection of substantial socioeconomic disadvantage.

Transgender women with HIV were more likely than cisgender men with HIV to experience unmet needs for subsistence services, which is likely a reflection of substantial socioeconomic disadvantage.

This is according to a study – “Unmet Needs for Ancillary Services and Associations with Clinical Outcomes Among Transgender Women with Diagnosed HIV: Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2015–2020” by Catherine C. Espinosa, Stacy M. Crim, Tamara Carree, and Sharoda Dasgupta – that appeared in LGBT Health.

In this study, the researchers analyzed 2015–2020 Medical Monitoring Project data among transgender women (N = 362), cisgender men (N = 17,319), and cisgender women (N = 6016) with HIV. They reported weighted percentages for characteristics, and reported adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) controlling for race/ethnicity and age, and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using logistic regression with predicted marginal means to assess differences between groups.

The researchers found that:

  • Among transgender women, unmet needs were highest for dental care (24.9%), shelter or housing (13.9%), and transportation assistance (12.6%).
  • Transgender women were more likely than cisgender men to have unmet subsistence needs, and aAmong transgender women, unmet needs for ancillary services were negatively associated with many clinical outcomes after adjusting for age and race/ethnicity.
  • Unmet needs for subsistence services were associated with higher levels of antiretroviral therapy nonadherence and detectable viral loads, emergency room visits, and depression or anxiety symptoms.

“Unmet needs for ancillary services among transgender women living with HIV were associated with adverse clinical outcomes,” the researchers noted, adding that “addressing unmet needs is an essential step for improving care outcomes among transgender women with HIV.”

They similarly recommended “involving transgender women in the design and implementation of interventions that address SDOH (to) improve retention in care, viral suppression, and overall health and well-being for transgender women living with HIV.”

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