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Transgender women in Los Angeles are more likely to be in high HIV incidence clusters than any other group
Gus Cairns, 2018-03-07 20:40

A phylogenetic study of HIV infections in Los Angeles has found that transgender women (TGWs) are more likely than any other risk group to be in a genetically-connected cluster of cases, which is a marker of high HIV risk. But they are less likely than gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), who also tend to be in transmission clusters, to be diagnosed.

The study also found that transgender women are more likely to be connected to heterosexual men than would be expected if they mixed randomly, and much more likely to be connected to other TGWs. Although, numerically, more transgender women are connected in clusters to MSM (because there are more MSM than any other group), they are less likely to be connected to them than would be expected in random mixing. 

Manon Ragonnet-Cronin of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) told the CROI 2018 conference that identifying MSM and heterosexual men who belonged to clusters that also included TGWs might be a way of contacting and bringing into care TGWs who might not regard themselves as at risk, or might be reluctant to come forward.