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Be cautious and judicious when this word is used by opponents of transgender rights. It can oversimplify the factors that determine a person’s sex and downplay the significance of gender identity. Updated December 2021


Acceptable in all references to refer collectively to HIV and AIDS and the conditions that can arise from them.


A social construct that refers to a person’s self-identity, unlike sex, which refers to biological characteristics. Gender is usually assigned to a person at birth by an attendant or parent who bases the decision on visible genitalia of the infant. That assignment may not match the person’s actual gender, knowledge of which may emerge later.