Male transvestite sex workers and HIV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
46 transvestite prostitutes from the Lapa and Copacabana neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro participated in a study to assess the prevalence of HIV-1 infection in that subpopulation and to identify HIV-related risk behaviors with an eye to developing targeted HIV/AIDS prevention intervention strategies. Participants were of median age 28 years, with 78.3% under age 35. 63.0% tested positive for antibody to HIV-1, with IV drug use being the only factor statistically related to HIV seropositivity. Sexual risk behaviors, however, including unprotected anal sex and sex in exchange for drugs, were reported by a substantial part of the sample. These findings suggest that transvestite prostitutes in Rio de Janeiro are at uniquely high risk for HIV infection and that intervention measures are warranted.