Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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HIV seroadaptive behaviours may have contributed to greater sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and to the global increase in STIs. Using multiple national surveillance data sources and population survey data, we estimated the risk of STIs in HIV-positive MSM and assessed whether transmission in HIV-positive MSM has contributed to recent STI epidemics in England. Since 2009, an increasing proportion of STIs has been diagnosed in HIV-positive MSM, and currently, the population rate of acute bacterial STIs is up to four times that of HIV-negative or undiagnosed MSM. Almost one in five of all diagnosed HIV-positive MSM in England had an acute STI diagnosed in 2013. From 2009 to 2013, the odds of being diagnosed with syphilis increased from 2.71 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.41-3.05, p<0.001) to 4.05 (95% CI 3.70-4.45, p<0.001) in HIV-positive relative to HIV-negative/undiagnosed MSM. Similar trends were seen for gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Bacterial STI re-infection rates were considerably higher in HIV-positive MSM over a five-year follow-up period, indicative of rapid transmission in more dense sexual networks. These findings strongly suggest that the sexual health of HIV-positive MSM in England is worsening, which merits augmented public health interventions and continued monitoring. .


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