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Transsexuals and HIV infection in Iran

Transsexuals face violence and engage in high risk sexual behaviors due to factors such as stigma and discrimination toward this group in many countries. As a result, they are considered, by UNAIDS, as one of the groups at high risk for HIV.

Many studies have reported high prevalence of HIV infection and HIV related risk behaviors among transsexuals. Herbst et al in their systemic review of US-based HIV behavioral prevention literature shows an HIV prevalence of 27.7% among MTFs .  Selling sex, not using condom (specially during receptive anal intercourse) and using drugs are common high risk behaviors reported. Similar results been found in unpublished data from a study of 50 transsexuals (FTM and MTF) in Tehran.

Although transsexuals were considered as a high risk group in the recent years, there is no study that provides a comprehensive picture of HIV infection in this group. Consequently, Iranian Research center for HIV/AIDS(IRCHA) in collaboration with AIDS Control Office-Iran Ministry of Health ,Tehran PsyY^_Wjhic Institute, state welfare of organization of Tehran, Mirdamad Surgerical Center and Dr Mehrabi ( sexologist)  are principal investigators(PI) of the first  Study of HIV prevalence and risk behaviors among trans-women. Moreover, IRCHA as a host of the first meeting with subject of “transsexual and HIV infection”, tried to gather more collaborations.

During the mentioned meeting Dr Mahdi Gouya and Dr Fardad Doroudi did speech regarding   importance of facing to HIV/AIDS among Transsexuals in Iran and explained the most important challenges which these at risk group experience during their lives. In next part of this meeting, the results of “Study of HIV prevalence and risk behaviors among trans-gender women (male to female) in Tehran” have been presented by Saeedeh Moayedi- Nia(PI). High prevalence of multiple partners during last 12 months, receptive intercourse with different sexual partners and low prevalence of condom use in their last sexual intercourse with different types of partners (clients, casual and intimate partner) were highlighted during the presentation.

At the end of the meeting, Dr Minoo Mohraz, Head of Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, and invitees stressed on essentiality of benefiting from appropriate interventions among this group and also continues of holding these meetings in purpose of  sharing more experiences in this field.

Iranian Research Center For HIV/AIDS(IRCHA)


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