Background/introduction Literature on the healthcare needs of transgender individuals is limited in Australia.
Aim(s)/objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the demographic characteristics, risk behaviours and STI/HIV positivity among male-to-female (MTF) and female-to-male (FTM) transgender individuals attending a sexual health clinic in Melbourne, Australia, between 2011 and 2014.
Methods A retrospective cohort analysis among 133 transgender individuals was conducted based on the first visit of the study period. Demographic characteristics, sexual behaviours, and HIV/STI positivity were examined.
Results 77 MTF, 28 FTM, and 28 unreported transgender status, attended 558 consultations with a median of two [IQR 1–5] visits. 70% percent attended for their first ever visit. Reassignment hormone use was 63% and surgery 27%. 11% had a history of injecting drug use, 74% were single/never married. In the last 12 months, 21% had sex overseas and 11% attended for counselling. Low median male sexual partners 1 [IQR 1–5] and female sexual partners 2 [1–4] were reported. MTF were more likely to be overseas born, older and work currently as a sex worker than FTM. STI positivity was 7% (n = 8) chlamydia; 5% (n = 6) gonorrhoea and 5% (n = 6) syphilis and HIV 3% (n = 1). There were no differences in positivity between MTF and FTM.
Discussion/conclusion In the Australian context STIs, HIV and sexual risk behaviours may differ to other developing and first world countries and therefore the healthcare needs may differ. Attention to differences in MTF and FTM transgender persons must be considered in health care.
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