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HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in men who have sex with men December 2009
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Second part of special issue on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) in men who have sex with men (MSM) - trends and behavioural surveillance
Eurosurveillance, Volume 14, Issue 48, 03 December 2009
Table of Contents
Symptomatic primary HIV infection in a 49-year-old man who has sex with men: beware of the window phase
by HE van Oosten, M Damen, HJ de Vries
A 49-year-old man with a history of receptive unprotected anal intercourse with multiple anonymous men presented with a symptomatic primary HIV infection. Upon his initial visit the rapid HIV antibody(...)
A 49-year-old man with a history of receptive unprotected anal intercourse with multiple anonymous men presented with a symptomatic primary HIV infection. Upon his initial visit the rapid HIV antibody screening test was negative but a p24 antigen test suggested a highly infectious phase in the HIV infection. An immunoblot assay confirmed the HIV diagnosis only 14 days later. Recent infections are characterised by a highly infectious phase and, if gone unnoticed, can have a large contribution to the ongoing transmission of HIV. Healthcare providers should be aware of primary HIV infection and the pitfalls in its diagnosis.
Surveillance and outbreak reports
Recently acquired HIV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) in France, 2003-2008
by C Semaille, F Cazein, F Lot, J Pillonel, S Le Vu, Y Le Strat, V Bousquet, F Barin, A Velter
An increase in the number of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) has been observed in several countries in the early 2000s. In this article, we explore the trends in MSM in France (...)
An increase in the number of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) has been observed in several countries in the early 2000s. In this article, we explore the trends in MSM in France between 2003 and 2008. To estimate the number of MSM newly diagnosed with HIV, we take into account the reporting delay, underreporting and missing data for HIV case notification. To identify recent infections (RI) (acquired an average of six months before diagnosis), we used an enzyme immunoassay for recent HIV-1 infections (EIA-RI) which has been performed routinely for new HIV diagnoses since 2003. Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors associated with RI. We estimate that between 1,900 and 2,400 MSM have been newly diagnosed with HIV every year: the proportion of MSM among all newly diagnosed with HIV cases has increased from 25.2% (95% confidence interval (CI): 23.3-27.1) in 2003 to 37.0% (95% CI: 35.2-38.7) in 2008 and was stable during the period 2006-2008. In 2008, the rate of newly diagnosed HIV cases per 10,000 MSM living in France was 72.5. The proportion of non-B subtypes of HIV-1 among cases diagnosed in MSM was 11.7% (2003-2008). The assessment of RI was performed for 4,819 MSM newly diagnosed with HIV in 2003-2008. Of these, 47.6% (95%CI = 46.2-49.0) (2,295 cases) were shown to have been recently infected. The risk of RI was greater for those of French nationality (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) =1.6 [95% CI: 1.4-1.9]), those with high economic status (aOR =1.4 [95% CI: 1.2-1.8]), those tested after a risk exposure (aOR =1.6[95% CI: 1.3-1.8]) or after presenting with clinical symptoms or abnormal biological markers (aOR =1.8 [95% CI: 1.5-2.0]), those who had tested for HIV three or more times during their life-time (aOR =4.2 [95% CI: 3.4-5.2]) and those living in the Paris area (aOR =1.2 [95% CI: 1.0-1.3]). The risk of RI decreased with age. The HIV situation among MSM living in France is a cause of concern, despite the prevention campaigns dedicated to this highly educated sub-population.
HIV/STI co-infection among men who have sex with men in Spain
by A Diaz, ML Junquera, V Esteban, B Martínez, I Pueyo, J Suárez, JM Ureña, JA Varela, M Vall, J del Romero, I Sanz, J Belda, J Boronat, P Gómez, F Gual, C Colomo, J López de Munain, J Balaguer, MC Landa, ME Lezaun, MC Cámara, E Fernández, FJ Bru, I Alastrue, JR Ordoñana, C de Armas, MA Azpiri, L Gomez, J Trullén, M Diez, on behalf of STI Study Group and EPI-VIH Group
In Spain, neither the HIV nor the STI national surveillance systems collect information on HIV/STI co-infection. However, there are two networks based on HIV/STI clinics which gather this data. We des(...)
In Spain, neither the HIV nor the STI national surveillance systems collect information on HIV/STI co-infection. However, there are two networks based on HIV/STI clinics which gather this data. We describe HIV prevalence in men who have sex with men (MSM) diagnosed with infectious syphilis and/or gonorrhoea in 15 STI clinics; and concurrent diagnoses of STI in MSM newly diagnosed with HIV in 19 HIV/STI clinics. In total, 572 MSM were diagnosed with infectious syphilis and 580 with gonorrhoea during 2005-2007. HIV prevalence among syphilis and gonorrhoea cases was 29.8% and 15.2% respectively. In the multivariate analysis, HIV/syphilis co-infection was associated with being Latin American; having a history of STI; reporting exclusively anal intercourse; and having sex with casual or several types of partners. HIV and gonorrhoea co-infection was associated with age older than 45 years; having no education or only primary education completed; and having a history of STI. In total, 1,462 HIV infections were newly diagnosed among MSM during 2003-2007. Of these, 31.0% were diagnosed with other STI at the same time. Factors associated with STI co-infection among new HIV cases in MSM were being Latin American; and having sex with casual partners or with both steady and casual partners. In Spain, a considerable proportion of MSM are co-infected with HIV and STI.
Lymphogranuloma venereum in Europe, 2003-2008
by EJ Savage, MJ van de Laar , A Gallay, M van der Sande, O Hamouda, A Sasse, S Hoffmann, M Diez, MJ Borrego, CM Lowndes, C Ison, on behalf on the European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI) network
Lymphogranuloma venereum, caused by the L serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis, emerged in Europe in 2003 and a series of outbreaks were reported in different countries. The infection presents as a seve(...)
Lymphogranuloma venereum, caused by the L serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis, emerged in Europe in 2003 and a series of outbreaks were reported in different countries. The infection presents as a severe proctitis in men who have sex with men, many of whom are co-infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. This paper reviews the number of cases reported over a five year period, from 2003 to 2008, from countries that were part of the European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI) network. Reports were received from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It appears that after five years the characteristics of the patients infected has overall remained unchanged, although the total number of cases has increased and more countries in Europe have now identified cases of LGV.
HIV bio-behavioural survey among men who have sex with men in Barcelona, Bratislava, Bucharest, Ljubljana, Prague and Verona, 2008-2009
by M Mirandola, C Folch Toda, I Krampac, I Nita, D Stanekova, D Stehlikova, I Toskin, L Gios, JP Foschia, M Breveglieri, M Furegato, E Castellani, MG Bonavina, the SIALON network
Data from 23 European countries show that the annual number of HIV diagnoses in men who have sex with men (MSM) increased by 86% between 2000 and 2006. This paper reports the main preliminary results (...)
Data from 23 European countries show that the annual number of HIV diagnoses in men who have sex with men (MSM) increased by 86% between 2000 and 2006. This paper reports the main preliminary results of a bio-behavioural survey in MSM with a specific focus on HIV prevalence and use of United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) indicators in six cities in Southern and Eastern Europe. Time-location sampling (TLS) was used. A total number of 2,356 questionnaires and 2,241 oral fluid samples were collected (invalid samples 4.1%). The data show different socio-demographic patterns across countries regarding age, level of education, living conditions, living area and self-identity. Southern European cities had the highest percentage of people who had tested for HIV and collected the result. More than 50% of respondents in the sample from Barcelona reported having used a condom last time they had anal sex (57.2%), whilst in all other cities this proportion was below 50%. The cities with the highest HIV prevalence in MSM were Barcelona (17.0%) and Verona (11.8%) whilst lower percentages were reported in Bratislava (6.1%), Bucharest (4.6%), Ljubljana (5.1%) and Prague (2.6%). The low prevalence in Eastern European cities is encouraging. However, with the level of high-risk sexual behaviour documented and the lower frequency of HIV test seeking behaviour, there is a clear risk of an increase in HIV transmission.
HIV risk behaviour knowledge, substance use and unprotected sex in men who have sex with men in Tallinn, Estonia
by A Tripathi, K Rüütel, RD Parker
This study examines HIV risk behaviour knowledge, substance use and unprotected sex in a sample of 79 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Tallinn, Estonia. Median age of the study population was 30 yea(...)
This study examines HIV risk behaviour knowledge, substance use and unprotected sex in a sample of 79 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Tallinn, Estonia. Median age of the study population was 30 years (range 18-62 years); 35 were bisexual; 56 answered correctly to at least 10 out of 13 questions about HIV risk behaviours; 23 consumed more than seven alcoholic drinks in the week before the survey; nearly half (n=34) of the participants reported some illicit drug use in the past 12 months; 40 did not use a condom regularly in the 12 months preceding the survey, and 41 did not use a condom during their last sexual intercourse. Alcohol consumption in the week before the survey was negatively associated with condom use during last intercourse (RR 0.48; 95% CI 0.41-0.56). Use of illicit drugs varied significantly by ethnicity (p-value = 0.02). Multivariable analysis showed that higher consumption of alcohol in the week before the survey could be predicted by education, age group and sexual orientation. In conclusion, socio-demographic factors such as education, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation may affect HIV risk behaviour knowledge, sexual behavior and substance use among MSM in Estonia, and need to be taken into consideration for targeted HIV prevention.
The effectiveness of behavioural and psychosocial HIV/STI prevention interventions for MSM in Europe: A systematic review
by R Berg
Given the need of programme planners and policy makers for descriptions of specific interventions and quantitative estimates of intervention effects to make informed decisions concerning prevention fu(...)
Given the need of programme planners and policy makers for descriptions of specific interventions and quantitative estimates of intervention effects to make informed decisions concerning prevention funding and research, there is a need for a systematic review that updates the current knowledge base about HIV/STI preventive interventions targeted at men who have sex with men (MSM) in Europe. The aim was to summarise and assess the effectiveness of HIV/STI prevention interventions for MSM living in Europe, and to identify intervention characteristics associated with effectiveness as well as potential gaps in the evidence base. A systematic search for relevant literature in eight international databases and in reference lists of relevant reviews and included studies was performed. Studies were selected according to pre-specified criteria and appraised for risk of bias. We summarised results using tables and calculated effect estimates for sexual behaviour outcomes. Results from six controlled studies, involving a total of 4,111 participants at entry from four different European countries were summarised. The results showed that there was 'high' or 'unclear' risk of bias in one or more of the assessed domains in all studies. The pooled effect estimate of the four interventions for which data were available suggested that MSM who participate in HIV/STI prevention initiatives may be somewhat less likely to report unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). The evidence base was insufficient to examine characteristics of interventions most closely associated with magnitude of effect and to draw solid conclusions about unique gaps in the evaluation literature. Despite the maturity of the HIV epidemic, rigorous outcome evaluations of any form of behavioural HIV/STI intervention for MSM in Europe are scarce. The results point to possible short term effects of interventions in terms of reductions in the proportion of MSM who engage in UAI, but the paucity of controlled studies demonstrates the need for research in this area. There is an overall deficit in outcome evaluations of interventions aimed at reducing HIV/STI risk behaviour among MSM in Europe. Designing behavioural HIV/STI preventive strategies to avert new infections, and the evaluation of such prevention programmes for MSM is an important component of a comprehensive HIV/STI containment strategy across the continuum of prevention and care.
Health Protection Agency publishes Annual Evidence Update focussing on HIV in children and adolescents
by F Hansraj
Eurosurveillance Edition: 03 December 2009
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