Syndemic theory and HIV-related risk among young transgender women: The role of multiple, co-occurring health problems and social marginalization

Julia Brennan, Lisa M. Kuhns, Amy K. Johnson, Marvin Belzer, Erin C. Wilson, Robert Garofalo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

200 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We assessed whether multiple psychosocial factors are additive in their relationship to sexual risk behavior and self-reported HIV status (i.e., can be characterized as a syndemic) among young transgender women and the relationship of indicators of social marginalization to psychosocial factors. Methods. Participants (n = 151) were aged 15 to 24 years and lived in Chicago or Los Angeles. We collected data on psychosocial factors (low self-esteem, polysubstance use, victimization related to transgender identity, and intimate partner violence) and social marginalization indicators (history of commercial sex work, homelessness, and incarceration) through an interviewer-administered survey. Results. Syndemic factors were positively and additively related to sexual risk behavior and self-reported HIV infection. In addition, our syndemic index was significantly related to 2 indicators of social marginalization: a history of sex work and previous incarceration. Conclusions. These findings provide evidence for a syndemic of co-occurring psychosocial and health problems in young transgender women, taking place in a context of social marginalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1751-1757
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume102
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Syndemic theory and HIV-related risk among young transgender women: The role of multiple, co-occurring health problems and social marginalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this