Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Does the recent increase in HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men in the United Kingdom reflect a rise in HIV incidence or increased uptake of HIV testing?
  1. Sarah Dougan (sarah_dougan{at}hotmail.com)
  1. Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, United Kingdom
    1. Jonathan Elford (j.elford{at}city.ac.uk)
    1. City University, United Kingdom
      1. Tim Chadborn (tim.chadborn{at}hpa.org.uk)
      1. Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, United Kingdom
        1. Alison Elizabeth Brown (alison.brown{at}hpa.org.uk)
        1. Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom
          1. Kirsty Roy
          1. Health Protection Scotland, United Kingdom
            1. Gary Murphy
            1. Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, United Kingdom
              1. O Noel Gill
              1. Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, United Kingdom

                Abstract

                Objectives: To determine whether the increase in HIV diagnoses since 1997 among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK reflects a rise in HIV incidence or an increase in HIV testing.

                Methods: Estimates of HIV incidence were derived using data from UK HIV surveillance systems (HIV diagnoses; CD4 surveillance; unlinked anonymous surveys) for 1997-2003. Data on HIV testing were provided by KC60 statutory returns and unlinked anonymous surveys in sentinel GUM clinics.

                Results HIV diagnoses among MSM in the UK rose by 43% between 1997 and 2003 (1,382, 1,979), with variation by age and geographic location. There was no increase in the number of HIV diagnoses among MSM <35 years in London, but in all other groups it increased. Indirect estimates suggest there may have been an increase in HIV incidence among MSM <35 years in London and among MSM (all ages) elsewhere in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (E,W&NI) but not in Scotland. However, direct point estimates only indicated an increase in HIV incidence among older MSM in London; this change was not statistically significant. Throughout the UK, uptake of HIV testing increased significantly among MSM attending GUM clinics between 1997-2003, including 'at-risk' MSM (p<0.001).

                Conclusions: In London, HIV incidence may have increased since 1997 among older MSM, but not among younger MSM for whom the number of HIV diagnoses did not rise between 1997-2003. HIV incidence appeared to remain constant among MSM in Scotland, while elsewhere in E,W&NI, changes in incidence were difficult to discern. Throughout the UK, there has been a substantial increase in HIV testing among MSM since 1997.

                • HIV incidence
                • HIV testing
                • Men who have sex with men
                • Surveillance
                • United Kingdom

                Statistics from Altmetric.com

                Request permissions

                If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

                Linked Articles

                • Brief Encounters
                  Helen Ward Rob Miller