Purpose: Worldwide, transgender women (TGW) bear a high HIV burden. Limited data are available on HIV prevalence and risk factors among TGW in western European countries. Our aim is to assess the prevalence of TGW living with HIV who underwent primary vaginoplasty in an academic reference hospital and to identify high-risk subgroups. Methods: All TGW who underwent primary vaginoplasty between January 2000 and September 2019 at our institution were identified. A retrospective chart study was conducted, recording the medical history, age at vaginoplasty, region of birth, use of medication, injecting drug use, history of pubertal suppression, HIV status, and sexual preference at time of surgical intake. High-risk subgroups were identified using logistic regression analysis. Results: Between January 2000 and September 2019, a total of 950 TGW underwent primary vaginoplasty, of whom 31 (3.3%) individuals were known to live with HIV. Prevalence of HIV was higher in TGW born outside of Europe (20/145, 13.8%) than among those born in Europe (11/805, 1.4%), p<0.001. In addition, having a sexual preference toward men was significantly associated with HIV. None of the TGW living with HIV had a history of puberty suppression. Conclusion: The HIV prevalence in our study population is higher than the reported HIV prevalence in cisgender population in the Netherlands but lower than reported in previous studies in TGW. Further studies should investigate the need and feasibility of routine HIV testing of TGW in Western countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-230
Number of pages5
JournalTransgender health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • HIV
  • gender reassignment surgery
  • sexual behavior
  • transgender persons

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