Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) have now become one of the priority populations for prevention and control of HIV pandemic in China. Information of HIV incidence among MSM is important to describe the spreading of the infection and predict its trends in this population. We reviewed the published literature on the incidence of HIV infection among MSM in China.
Methods: We identified relevant studies by use of a comprehensive strategy including searches of Medline and two Chinese electronic publication databases from January 2005 to September 2010. Point estimate of random effects incidence with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) of HIV infection was carried out using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software. Subgroup analyses were examined separately, stratified by study design and geographic location.
Results: Twelve studies were identified, including three cohort studies and nine cross-sectional studies. The subgroup analyses revealed that the sub-overall incidence estimates were 3.5% (95% CI, 1.7%–5.3%) and 6.7% (95% CI, 4.8%–8.6%) for cohort and cross-sectional studies, respectively (difference between the sub-overalls, Q= 5.54, p = 0.02); and 8.3% (95% CI, 6.9%–9.7%) and 4.6% (95% CI, 2.4%–6.9%) for studies in Chongqing and other areas, respectively (difference between the sub-overalls, Q= 7.58, p,0.01). Syphilis infection (RR = 3.33, p,0.001), multiple sex partnerships (RR = 2.81, p,0.001), and unprotected receptive anal intercourse in the past six months (RR = 3.88, p = 0.007) represented significant risk for HIV seroconversion.
Conclusions: Findings from this meta-analysis indicate that HIV incidence is substantial in MSM in China. High incidence of HIV infection and unique patterns of sexual risk behaviors in this population serve as a call for action that should be answered with the innovative social and public health intervention strategies, and development of biological prevention strategies.
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