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Public Health Program


Objective To examine factors associated with HIV infection among transgender women in Cambodia.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Settings HIV high-burden sites including the capital city and 12 provinces.

Participants This study included 1375 sexually active transgender women with a mean age of 25.9 years (SD 7.1), recruited by using respondent-driven sampling for structured questionnaire interviews and rapid finger-prick HIV testing.

Primary outcome measure HIV infection detected by using Determine antibody test.

Results HIV prevalence among this population was 5.9%. After adjustment for other covariates, participants living in urban areas were twice as likely to be HIV infected as those living in rural areas. Participants with primary education were 1.7 times as likely to be infected compared with those with high school education. HIV infection increased with age; compared with those aged 18–24 years, the odds of being HIV infected were twice as high among transgender women aged 25–34 years and 2.8 times higher among those aged ≥35 years. Self-injection of gender affirming hormones was associated with a fourfold increase in the odds of HIV infection. A history of genital sores over the previous 12 months increased the odds of HIV infection by threefold. Transgender women with stronger feminine identity, dressing as a woman all the time, were twice as likely to be HIV infected compared with those who did not dress as a woman all the time. Having never used online services developed for transgender women in the past six months was also associated with higher odds of being HIV infected.

Conclusions Transgender women in Cambodia are at high risk of HIV. To achieve the goal of eliminating HIV in Cambodia, effective combination prevention strategies addressing the above risk factors among transgender women should be strengthened.


Please see the work itself for the complete list of authors.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published in BMJ Open, 7(8) [Article e015390]. Licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0. bmjopen-2016-015390



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