While Male-to-female transgender persons (TG) are believed to often engage in sex work and have high HIV infection risk, little is known about demographics, surgical and hormone use history, risk behaviors and HIV prevalence. Between March and October 2005, 474 TG from Bangkok, Chiangmai, and Phuket were surveyed using venue-day-time sampling. Of 474 participants, overall HIV prevalence was 13.5%. Most participants had completed at least secondary or vocational education (79.2%), gender self-identified as female (89.0%), had received money, gifts or valuables for sex (60.8%), and reported hormone use (88.6%). Surgical history was taken from 325 participants. Of these, 68.6% reported some form of surgery and 11.1% had undergone penile-vaginal reconstructive surgery. In multivariate analysis, being recruited from a park/street; older age, anal sex role identification as “versatile” and anal sex debut before age 13 were independently associated with HIV prevalence. The development, implementation and evaluation of culturally appropriate sexual health interventions for Thai TG is urgently needed.
Keywords: Men who have sex with men, Transgender, HIV/AIDS, Hormone use, Silicone injection, Thailand