HIV infection risk factors among male-to-female transgender persons: a review of the literature

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. Sep-Oct 2009;20(5):362-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2009.06.005.


Male-to-female (MTF) transgender women experience a host of psychosocial issues such as discrimination, stigmatization, and marginalization. These challenges often limit economic opportunities, affect mental health, and may place members of this population at an increased risk for HIV infection. This report presents a review of the literature that focuses on risk factors for HIV infection specific to the MTF population. Factors including needle sharing and substance abuse, high-risk sexual behaviors, commercial sex work, health care access, lack of knowledge regarding HIV transmission, violence, stigma and discrimination, and mental health issues have been identified in the literature as risk factors for the acquisition of HIV infection by members of this population. Implications for care provided to MTF transgender persons are presented, and suggestions for future research are identified.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • HIV Seroprevalence
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needle Sharing
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Stereotyping
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Transsexualism*
  • Violence