Transgender and nonbinary (TNB) populations are disproportionately affected by HIV and few local health departments or HIV surveillance systems collect/report data on TNB identities. Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of HIV testing among TNB adults by US county and state, with a focus on the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) geographies.
We applied a Bayesian hierarchical spatial small area estimation model to data from the 2015 US Transgender Survey, a large national cross-sectional Internet-based survey. We estimated the county- and state-level proportion of TNB adults who ever tested or tested for HIV in the last year by gender identity, race/ethnicity, and age.
Our analysis included 26,100 TNB participants with valid zip codes who resided in 1688 counties (54% of all 3141 counties that cover 92% of the US population). The median county-level proportion of TNB adults who ever tested for HIV was 44% (range 10%–80%) and who tested in the last year was 17% (range 4%–44%). Within most counties, testing was highest among transgender women, black respondents, and people aged ≥25 years. HIV testing was lowest among nonbinary people and young adults aged <25 years. The proportion of TNB adults who tested within the last year was very low in most EHE counties and in all 7 rural states.
HIV testing among TNB adults is likely below national recommendations in the majority of EHE geographies. Geographic variation in HIV testing patterns among TNB adults indicates that testing strategies need to be tailored to local settings.