Regarding people living with HIV (PLHIV), little is known about the epidemiological characteristics and management decisions for transgender individuals. This retrospective study compared transgender and cisgender (homosexual and heterosexual) PLHIV at both the S. Maria della Misericordia of Perugia and Careggi of Firenze Teaching Hospitals from 2000 to 2018. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to analyse possible relationships between viral suppression (dependent variable) and age, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and hepatitis diagnosis (independent variables). After analysing and comparing epidemiological and clinical data for 124 transgender, 180 homosexual cisgender and 188 heterosexual cisgender PLHIV, we found that transgender PLHIV, mostly Latin American sex workers, were more likely to have other STIs. Likewise, this subgroup, on average, was younger at the time of HIV diagnosis and more likely to be less adherent to care, consequently jeopardizing the achievement of viral suppression. Finally, the use of hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery in transgender PLHIV contributed to specific management issues. To date, major attention has focused on studying the epidemiological characteristics of homosexual and heterosexual PLHIV. Our analysis found that transgender PLHIV were the least likely group to be adequately retained in the continuum of care and presented specific issues in part due to social and behavioural realities.
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