Spatial Analysis of HIV Infection and the Associated Correlates Among Transgender Persons in the United States

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title


First page number:


Last page number:



Identifying the geographic hotspots of HIV infection among high-risk populations such as transgender people is critical to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States (U.S.). This study examined the spatial pattern of HIV positivity rate and the associated correlates among transgender persons in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. The data source was the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (n = 27,715). We conducted spatial analyses, with state as the unit of analysis. We fitted a spatial lag regression model to assess demographic, social, and behavioral risk variables associated with HIV. The HIV positivity rate ranged by state from 0.5% to 17.1%, with a mean of 2.9%. There was a significant positive global spatial autocorrelation (global Moran’s I = 0.42, p = 0.001). The identified spatial clusters of high values (hot spots i.e., states with high HIV positivity rates surrounded by states with similarly high rates) included five neighboring states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee) in the Southern region. HIV positivity rate was positively associated with the percentage of transgender persons who were non-Hispanic Black, had no high school education, living in poverty, and engaged in sex work. Structural interventions are needed to address education, poverty, racial discrimination, and sex work that predispose transgender persons to HIV.


Gender minority; HIV prevalence; Spatial epidemiology; U.S


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Virus Diseases



UNLV article access

Search your library