Purpose: We sought to explore characteristics and risk factors associated with transactional sex in a sample of young black and Latinx sexual minority cisgender men and transgender women of age 15 to 24 years who were living with or at high risk for HIV infection and whether these associations vary by gender identity and HIV status. Methods: A total of 454 black and Latinx sexual minority cisgender men and transgender women from Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; and St. Petersburg/Tampa, Fl, were recruited to participate in a multisite study that included a 45-minute baseline Web-based survey and HIV-1 rapid testing. Bivariate analysis was used to explore factors associated with transactional sex. Factors significant at p-value <.20 in bivariate analysis were entered into a final logistic regression models; and models were further stratified by gender identity and HIV status. Results: The mean age was 21.3 (standard deviation = 2.5), with 14.7% (n = 65) identifying as transgender, and 103 youth (22.7%) reporting lifetime transactional sex. Transactional sex was associated with transgender identity, recent unstable housing in the last 12 months, poorer perceived financial well-being, coerced sex, and marijuana use. Differences were noted by gender identity and HIV status, with marijuana use associated with transactional sex in cisgender men and unstable housing and sexual coercion in youth living with HIV. Conclusions: Young black and Latinx cisgender men and transgender women are at a high risk for engaging in transactional sex. Transactional sex may create a syndemic for HIV risk exposure through co-occurring and reinforcing conditions of unstable housing, violence, and substance use.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute of Drugs and Abuse (R01DA043089), and the Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research ( P30AI094189 ).
© 2021 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
- Sexual minority cisgender men
- Transactional sex
- Transgender women
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health