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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

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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