Background: Studies have documented high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence among transwomen in the United States; however, to our knowledge, no studies have documented trends in HIV prevalence in this population.
Methods: We used respondent-driven sampling to sample transwomen in San Francisco for 3 HIV prevalence and behavioral surveys in 2010, 2013, and 2016. Our analysis of point estimates and trends were weighted for the sampling method.
Results: Human immunodeficiency virus prevalence by serological testing in the survey was 38.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 32.4-45.2), 33.7% (95% CI, 25.9-41.5), and 31.6% (95% CI, 12.2-38.1) in 2010, 2013, and 2016, respectively. Disparities in higher HIV prevalence by black, Latino, and Asian race/ethnicity and lower education level persisted through 2016.
Conclusions: Based on a statistical test for trend, HIV prevalence among transwomen has remained high and stable from 2010 to 2016. Human immunodeficiency virus infection is still highest at 31.6% compared to any other group in San Francisco. We also observed that older transwomen had significantly higher odds of living with HIV than younger women over the last 2 waves of data collection. Taken together, these trends suggest that there is declining incidence of new HIV infections among low-income transwomen in San Francisco. Moreover, among transwomen, HIV disproportionately affects transwomen of color.