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Psychosocial and sexual factors associated with recent sexual health clinic attendance and HIV testing among trans people in the UK.

OBJECTIVES: Trans people remain an understudied population in the UK, with unmet sexual health needs. The aim of this research was to identify possible barriers and facilitators for sexual health clinic attendance and HIV testing among trans people.

METHODS: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) participants from across the UK were invited to take part in a cross-sectional online survey through Facebook advertising (April-June 2018). Psychosocial and sexual factors associated with recent sexual health clinic attendance, and ever having an HIV test were examined using multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS: A total of 3007 cisgender and 500 trans participants completed the survey. Trans participants were less likely to attend a sexual health clinic than cisgender participants (27% vs 36%, p<0.001) and report ever having an HIV test (49% vs 64%, p<0.001). One trans participant reported living with HIV and three reported currently taking pre-exposure prophylaxis. Factors associated with trans sexual health clinic attendance were: living in London, having a relationship with multiple partners, engaging in condomless anal intercourse, greater life satisfaction, and having alcohol and/or drugs before sex. Being a person of colour, aged 25-49 years, in a relationship with multiple partners, condomless anal intercourse, lower body dissatisfaction, and having drugs before sex were associated with ever having an HIV test among trans participants.

CONCLUSIONS: Trans people were less likely to attend sexual health services than cisgender people, and half of trans participants who reported condomless anal intercourse had never had an HIV test. Further research is needed to understand and improve uptake of sexual health services among trans people.

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