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HIV Prevalence and Sexual Behaviors Among Transgender Women in Tehran, Iran.

Moayedi-Nia S, Taheri L, Hosseini Rouzbahani N, Rasoolinejad M, Nikzad R, Eftekhar Ardebili M, Mohraz M.

AIDS and Behavior

To date, no study has looked at the prevalence of HIV and the high-risk behaviors among transgender women in Iran. Between May 2013 and February 2014, 104 transgender women were recruited for participation in this study. Inclusion criteria consisted of having an official letter from the Tehran Psychiatric Institute, or a well-known psychiatrist, that showed a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and/or completed Gender-Affirming Surgery at least 6 months prior to this study. Of the 104 participants, 2 were diagnosed with HIV, which translates to a HIV prevalence of 1.9%. Condom use with a non-paying partner, casual partner, and paying partner was respectively 39.7%, 34.6%, and 53.3%. A high percentage of transgender women in Tehran engage in high-risk sexual behaviors including condomless receptive anal sex, which is of particular concern given the low rates of HIV testing. Targeted public intervention programs and research are desperately needed for this high-risk group.