Similar rises in gay men's HIV diagnoses seen in Western Europe, North America and Australia since 2000

Published: June 22, 2009

 A comparative analysis of HIV diagnoses in gay men in eight industrialised countries has found that while they decreased between 1996 and 2000, diagnoses went up by 3% a year from 2000 to 2005, researchers report in the June 2009 issue of the Annals of Epidemiology.

The researchers used national surveillance data compiled by public health bodies in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain (Catalonia only), Australia, the United States (25 states only) and Canada. These countries were chosen as a convenience sample of concentrated epidemics where the surveillance systems were broadly comparable (although not identical) and did not change too much during the period studied.

For the six countries with data from 1996 to 2000, the numbers of annual HIV diagnoses decreased by an estimated 5.2% per year.

However, for the eight countries with data from 2000 to 2005, annual diagnoses increased by 3.3% each year. The greatest annual rises were seen in four European countries (Germany 12%, France 11.3%, UK 9.6%, Netherlands 9.3%), whereas annual increases were below 5% in Spain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

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