Long COVID is a trans issue

Did you know that trans people in the U.S. have some of the highest rates of Long COVID and associated diseases (LCAD)?

Long COVID Is A Trans Issue is a new initiative to inform, advocate, and activate our community on this important topic. Check out our webinar recording and other resources below, and join our Action Network (email list) or follow us on socials to stay in the loop!


LCAD rates in trans people in the US

The US Household Pulse study by the Census Bureau is run every three months.  And every single time, except for one tiny blip, trans people have the highest rates of Long COVID and associated diseases:

Visit the CDC website to view and sort data by various demographics and time periods. Tips on how to view and sort data are here.

Why are LCAD rates higher in trans people?

Several major risk factors for LCAD are higher in trans populations, including:

  • Previous chronic illness and disability
  • Socio-economic risk factors:
    • lower income
    • inability to adequately rest in the early weeks after developing COVID
  • “Female” sex (Most studies do not use best practices on gender in research)
  • Epstein Barr virus reactivation (May be higher in people with HIV;  trans people have higher HIV rates
  • Presence of specific autoantibodies
  • Pre-existing conditions:
    • Connective tissue disorders (Example: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is more common in “adolescents with gender dysphoria;” source)
    • ADHD (more common in trans people), chronic urticaria and allergic rhinitis
    • ⅓ of people with Long COVID have no identified pre-existing conditions
  • Higher prevalence of Long Covid in certain ethnicities, especially people with Hispanic or Latiné heritage

List originally compiled by Patient-Led Research Collaborative. Top bullet and italics added by Long COVID Justice.

Check out articles and video below for more information, data, and resources.

Additional reading

‘Brilliant at survival’ — Long Covid afflicts trans and bi patients at highest rates | ClearHealthCosts.com

Long COVID is More Common in Bisexual & Trans People. The Reasons Why Are Complicated | Miles Griffis for them.com

Biological Sex Differences: Key to Understanding Long COVID? | Medscape

Long COVID more common in people with HIV | aidsmap

COVID-19 Is Still a Major Health Concern. Why Are Some HIV Organizations Acting Like It Isn’t? | Emmett Patterson, TheBody.com

HIV may increase the risk of Long Covid. Why aren’t major advocacy groups addressing it? | Miles Griffis for The Sick Times

As Queer Spaces Return to “Normal,” Disabled LGBTQ+ People Are Being Left Behind | Miles Griffis for them.com

Still On the Margins: Long COVID Patients of Color | Angela Meriquez Vázquez, MSW for Disability Visibility Project

Keep Masks In Healthcare – Toolkit | COVID Advocacy Initiative & COVID Safe Campus

Long COVID Is A Trans Issue – webinar

Video player from the webinar.

This community webinar opened a space to learn about Long COVID and associated diseases, and to explore why rates are so high in the trans community, how we can take care of ourselves and each other, and why disability justice is essential to trans liberation.

• Moderated by Cecilia Gentili

• Performance by Kay Ulanday Barrett

• Research by Sari L Reisner, SCD

• Resources by JD Davids

• Hosted by Trans Equity with Long COVID Justice and our partner organization, Strategies for High Impact.

• Recorded on November 15, 2023.


Funding & support

This initiative was created as part of our health equity project, the NYC Needs Assessment and Action Plan, which is conducted in partnership with our Long COVID Justice NYC chapter and our parent organization Strategies for High Impact. It is funded in part through a generous grant from the New York Health Foundation.

Questions or suggestions?

Write [email protected]