Examining Factors Associated with Gender Identity Among Individuals Disengaged from HIV Care in Argentina

Pablo D. Radusky, Ines Aristegui, Lissa N. Mandell, Emanuel Dell’Isola, Virginia Zalazar, Nadir Cardozo, María L. Alcaide, Stephen M. Weiss, Deborah L. Jones, Omar Sued

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Transgender women (TGW) consistently show lower adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART), than cisgender people (CP) living with HIV. This study examined sociodemographic and psychosocial factors associated with gender identity among individuals disengaged from HIV care in Argentina. Methods: Data for this study was obtained at baseline from the Conexiones y Opciones Positivas en la Argentina 2 (COPA2) study. Forty-one TGW and 360 CP (177 male, 183 female) disengaged from HIV care completed questionnaires assessing sociodemographic information, severity of depressive symptoms, substance and alcohol use, patient-provider relationship quality, self-efficacy, ART adherence motivation, self-reported adherence, and treatment-related factors. Analyses included chi-square tests exploring the association between categorical variables and gender identity, and ANCOVAs comparing groups controlling for age. Results: Being a TGW was associated with having only public health insurance; substance use, particularly cocaine; substance-related problems; and hazardous drinking. TGW showed more negative consequences related to substance use, more hazardous alcohol use, lower patient-provider relationship quality, and lower self-reported adherence, than CP. Conclusions: Harm reduction should be a key component in HIV care for TGW to address substance use. Health care teams should receive formal training in patient-provider communication skills and trans-specific competencies to enhance TGW’s adherence and retention. Public policies to address structural factors that negatively affect TGW’s adherence to ART are also needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of behavioral medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Adherence
  • Argentina
  • HIV care
  • Retention
  • Transgender women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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