I am HIV+. Will this make a difference for being on hormones?

Note: Although this is a general guide on what to expect if you are HIV+ and seeking hormone treatment, this information is not the same as medical advice from a doctor. Speak to your primary care provider for more information about your specific situation.

Hormones for people with HIV are managed in the same way as for people without HIV. If you are a trans person who is HIV+, you are not alone, and you do not need to worry that this may significantly impact your trans journey.

There are no significant drug interactions between ARVs (antriretrovirals, a medication prescribed to treat HIV) and most commonly prescribed hormone replacement therapy. In fact, many people with HIV may need hormone treatment even if they are not transgender or gender non-confirming, because HIV can affect the way your body naturally produces hormones.

Due to being on hormone replacement therapy and having HIV, you may be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (problems with your heart) or osteoporosis (problems with your bones). Trans women in particular may need to be careful if they are taking spironolactone and septra at the same time, because this can affect the level of potassium in blood, which can be very dangerous. Your primary care provider will be able to inform you about these risks and what you can do to better protect yourself.

For a general overview of hormone fluctuation in people with HIV, please see CATIE’s resource A Practical Guide to a Healthy Body for People Living with HIV.

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