Contrasting past reports showing that HIV-positive transgender people fair poorly in care, a new study has found that this group is as likely to remain in care, receive antiretroviral (ARV) therapy and to reach viral suppression as other people living with the virus.  Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers conducted a retrospective study of 36,845 people with HIV from 13 clinics across the country in the HIV Research Network, in a time period spanning 2001 to 2011. A total of 285 people in that group identified as transgender.

During the 10-year period, 80 percent of transgender people with HIV were retained in care, 76 percent received ARVs and 68 percent suppressed the virus. By comparison, men’s respective rates for those figures were 81, 77 and 69 percent and women’s were 81, 73 and 63 percent.

In a release, Baligh R. Yehia, MD, MPP, a clinical instructor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania who led the retrospective analysis, said, “[T]here have been great advances in HIV therapy and management over the last decade and increased attention from advocates and groups on identifying people infected with HIV quickly, linking them to care in a timely fashion, and starting treatment earlier.  In addition, there is an increased focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health in general.”

To read a release on the study, click here.