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Perspectives on trans-specific sexual health needs based on a free anonymous Online HIV/STI Risk Test (ORT) survey in Germany
  1. Adriane Skaletz-Rorowski1,2,
  2. Sandeep Nambiar1,2,
  3. Miriam Basilowski1,
  4. Janet Wach1,3,
  5. Arne Kayser1,4,
  6. Andre Kasper1,2,
  7. Norbert Brockmeyer1,2,
  8. Anja Potthoff1,2
  1. 1 WIR - Walk In Ruhr, Center for Sexual Health and Medicine, Bochum, Germany
  2. 2 Interdisciplinary Immunological Outpatient Clinic, Center for Sexual Health and Medicine, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  3. 3 Public Health Department, Bochum, Germany
  4. 4 AIDS-Hilfe Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anja Potthoff, WIR - Walk In Ruhr, Center for Sexual Health and Medicine, Bochum, Germany; anja.potthoff{at}

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A meta-analysis estimated the worldwide prevalence of HIV among transgender individuals at 19.1% and found a 48.8-fold increase in the odds of HIV infection compared with non-transgender adults of reproductive age.1 2 Despite such disparities, HIV and STI research has historically grouped transgenders with men who have sex with men (MSM) or excluded them from studies altogether, thus limiting the information available on the social and behavioural factors that increase HIV vulnerability among transindividuals and how these factors may differ from MSM.3 STIs are often associated with stigma, stereotyping, vulnerability and shame.4 Transindividuals face additional barriers to appropriate healthcare access as opposed to cisgender individuals and MSM, for example, requirement for medical interventions such as hormone therapy and/or surgery, paucity of knowledgeable health providers, real or perceived stigma and discrimination from individuals within the healthcare system, greater clinical depression, anxiety and somatisation, and lack of insurance coverage due to socioeconomic limitations.5 Hence transindividuals are often inhibited to seek testing and treatment. WIR - Walk In Ruhr, Center for Sexual Health and Medicine ( is a premier and unique multidisciplinary, cross-sectoral and interinstitutional model care centre in Germany …

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  • Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti

  • Contributors AS-R, AP and NB conceived the project and the main conceptual ideas. MB assisted in the development of the survey questionnaire, consistent with standard psychological survey parameters. AKas provided IT support and database management. SN, AKas and MB analysed the survey data. AS-R, AP, NB, SN, JW, AKas and MB aided in verifying the data and interpreting the results. JW and AKay undertook advertisement and promotion of the survey to the target population. AS-R and SN wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the results, and read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.