Monday, April 18, marks National Transgender HIV Testing Day (#TransHIV) 2022. It is a time to raise awareness of and show support for the transgender community. This population—notably African-American and Latino transgender women—is disproportionately affected by HIV.

About 1.4 million people in the United States identify as transgender, according to the Williams Institute, a research center at the University of California at Los Angeles that focuses on on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. This translates to 0.6% of the nation’s population of 332 million people.

Transgender people accounted for 2% of the new HIV cases reported in 2019—or 671 diagnoses out of the 36,801 new cases that year—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over half the diagnoses were among transgender women who were Black (46%) or Latina (35%). Transgender men accounted for 46 cases in 2019; most of these were among Black and Latino people.

Many health experts, however, note that data about transgender people are often underreported. This lack of specific numbers makes it more difficult to target prevention and treatment efforts where they are needed most. Stigma and discrimination against transgender people, including within the health care system, also contribute to a higher risk of HIV transmission and poorer health outcomes., which tracks and maps HIV data, highlights further HIV prevention challenges for the transgender population. AIDSVu writes:

Transgender men and women face many challenges which impact their ability to seek, receive and remain engaged in HIV care. In addition, there are many prevention challenges that impact the HIV health outcomes for some transgender people. These include racism/discrimination, stigma, transphobic discrimination, medical mistrust, unmet gender affirmation needs and many more.

In addition to these challenges, the social determinants of health that can impact all individuals living with or at risk for HIV may be particularly acute. According to data from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which may not be representative of the entire United States, in 2020.

• 21% of transgender women and 17% of transgender men living with HIV were in temporary or unstable housing;

• 23% of transgender women and 17% of transgender men had no health insurance coverage of any kind;

• 77% of transgender women and 67% of transgender men were living at or below the federal poverty line.

To learn more about National Transgender HIV Testing Day, search the hashtag #TransHIV on social media.

In related news, the International Transgender Day of Visibility was marked March 31 amid an onslaught of laws and legislation attacking transgender people, especially transgender students. For example, newly signed Arizona laws ban gender-affirming medical care for trans youth younger than 18 and prohibit transgender athletes from competing on women’s and girl’s teams in certain schools.

To learn more about other HIV awareness days, including a calendar you can download and print, visit “2022 HIV/AIDS Awareness Days.”