Objectives The current surveillance system in The Netherlands cannot differentiate recent HIV infections from established infections, which is crucial for estimating the HIV incidence; this information is needed for assessing trends of the HIV epidemic and the impact of prevention interventions. We determined the proportion of recent HIV infections (RI) and estimated HIV incidence using a recent infection testing algorithm (RITA) among men who have sex with men (MSM) newly diagnosed as having HIV attending sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics.
Methods Plasma samples collected between 2009 and 2011 were tested for RI with the Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo immunoassay. Data on viral load, CD4 count and previous HIV testing were incorporated into the RITA. HIV incidence and 95% CIs were estimated. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with RI.
Results Of the 251 samples tested for RI, 78/251 (31%) infections were determined as recent by the RITA. No significant change over time was observed. The estimated HIV incidence in this high-risk MSM population was 3.3 per 100 person-years (95% CI 2.5 to 4.1). The only factor associated with RI in the multivariable model was being tested for HIV ≥3 times in the past (aOR=7.4; 95% CI 2.0 to 27.8).
Conclusions The proportion of RIs was comparable to studies in similar settings in Europe. Implementation of the RITA for routine surveillance in The Netherlands to assess trends in RIs over time, to study the infections in other groups and to inform public health actions, is being planned.
- HIV Testing
- Epidemiology (General)
- Gay Men