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Original research
Sociodemographic and behavioural factors associated with testing for HIV and STIs in a US nationwide sample of transgender men who have sex with men
  1. Nadav Antebi-Gruszka1,
  2. Ali J Talan2,
  3. Sari L Reisner3,4,
  4. H Jonathon Rendina2,5
  1. 1 Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2 Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the CIty University of New York (CUNY), New York, New York, USA
  3. 3 Department of Epidemiology, The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4 Department of Epidemiology, Harvard University T H Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5 Health Psychology and Clinical Science PhD Program, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr H Jonathon Rendina, Hunter College CUNY, New York, NY 10065, USA; hrendina{at}hunter.cuny.edu

Abstract

Objectives Transgender men who have sex with men (TMSM) represent an understudied population in relation to screening for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We examined HIV and STI testing prevalence among TMSM along with the factors associated with testing in a diverse US nationwide sample of TMSM.

Methods Data from a cross-sectional online convenience sample of 192 TMSM were analysed using multivariable binary logistic regression models to examine the association between sociodemographic and behavioural factors and lifetime testing for HIV, bacterial STIs and viral STIs, as well as past year testing for HIV.

Results More than two-thirds of TMSM reported lifetime testing for HIV (71.4%), bacterial STIs (66.7%), and viral STIs (70.8%), and 60.9% had received HIV testing in the past year. Engaging in condomless anal sex with a casual partner whose HIV status is different or unknown and having fewer than two casual partners in the past 6 months were related to lower odds of lifetime HIV, bacterial STI, viral STI and past year HIV testing. Being younger in age was related to lower probability of testing for HIV, bacterial STIs and viral STIs. Furthermore, TMSM residing in the South were less likely to be tested for HIV and viral STIs in their lifetime, and for HIV in the past year. Finally, lower odds of lifetime testing for viral STIs was found among TMSM who reported no drug use in the past 6 months.

Conclusions These findings indicate that a notable percentage of TMSM had never tested for HIV and bacterial and viral STIs, though at rates only somewhat lower than among cisgender MSM despite similar patterns of risk behaviour. Efforts to increase HIV/STI testing among TMSM, especially among those who engage in condomless anal sex, are needed.

  • HIV
  • bacterial infection
  • testing
  • transgender
  • men
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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Tristan J Barber

  • Contributors HJR designed and conducted the survey. NA-G and HJR collaborated on conceptualising the manuscript. NA-G led the writing of the manuscript. AT, SLR and HJR revised the manuscript before submission, and complemented it with relevant data.

  • Funding This work was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse (K01-DA039060; PI: HJR), the Fordham HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) via a training grant sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R25-DA031608, PI: Celia B Fisher), and Hunter College, CUNY. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health, the Fordham HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute, or Hunter College, CUNY.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval All procedures were approved by the Institutional Review (IRB) Board of The City University of New York and received an exempt determination from the Hunter College IRB under protocol #2017–0179.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Aggregate data relevant to the study are included in the tables and individual-level de-identified data can be requested from the corresponding author.

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