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Not only do transgender female sex workers have some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections STI , human immunodeficiency virus HIV , and experienced stigma, they also have higher likelihood of early sexual debut and some of the lowest levels of educational attainment compared to other stigmatized populations.
Some of the most common interventions designed to reduce transmission of HIV and STIs seek to educate high-risk groups on sexual health and encourage condom use across all partner types; however, reaching stigmatized populations, particularly those in resource-limited settings, is particularly challenging.
Considering the importance of condom use in stopping the spread of HIV, the aim of this study was two-fold; first to characterize this hard-to-reach population of transgender female sex workers in the Dominican Republic, and second, to assess associations between their HIV knowledge, experienced stigma, and condom use across three partner types.
Respondents were interviewed at their workplaces. Univariate and bivariate analyses were employed. Fisher Chi-square tests assessed differences in HIV knowledge and experienced stigma by condom use across partner types. HIV knowledge was alarmingly low, condom use varied across partner type, and the respondents in our sample had high levels of experienced stigma. Average age of first sexual experience was On average, respondents reported 8.
Approximately two thirds of respondents used a condom the last time they had sex with a regular partner. This was considerably lower than condom use reported with coercive partners Bivariate analyses revealed two trends: experienced stigma was associated with lower rates of condom use, and lower HIV knowledge was associated with lower rates of condom use.