This study examined the social and contextual factors associated with continued high risk sexual behaviors among male-to-female transgender (MTFTG) adolescents living with HIV/AIDS. The study is part of a larger qualitative study of 59 racial/ethnic minority adolescents living with HIV/AIDS.
In-depth focused interviews were conducted with five MTFTG adolescents (16–24 years) living with HIV. Content analysis was conducted to identify themes related to continued sexual risk behaviors.
Four out of five of MTFTG adolescents reported inconsistent condom use since their HIV diagnosis. Transgender stigma contributed to financial vulnerability leading to the adoption of sex work to support themselves. Sex and drugs were used to manage transgender stigma and sexual risk-taking with sex work partners was influenced by financial vulnerability.
MTFTG adolescents with HIV have unique psychosocial needs related to transgender stigma and structural needs to decrease financial vulnerability that contribute to risky sexual behavior.
Keywords: Adolescents, Transgender stigma, HIV/AIDS, Sex work