A tale of three cities: Persisting high HIV prevalence, risk behaviour and undiagnosed infection in community samples of men who have sex with men

Julie P. Dodds*, Anne M. Johnson, John Parry, Danielle E. Mercey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the geographical variations in HIV prevalence (diagnosed and undiagnosed), use of sexual health services, sexually transmitted infections and sexual behaviour in a community sample of men who have sex with men in three cities in England, specifically London, Brighton and Manchester. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys of men visiting gay community venues in three large cities in England. Men self-completed a questionnaire and provided an anonymous oral fluid sample for HIV antibody testing. Results: HIV prevalence ranged from 8.6% to 13.7% in the three cities. Over one-third of HIV infection remained undiagnosed in all sites despite 69% of HIV-positive men reporting attending a genitourinary medicine clinic in the last year. Similar and high levels of risk behaviour were reported in all three cities. 18% of HIV-negative men and 37% of HIV-positive men reported unprotected anal intercourse with more than one partner in the last year. 20% of negative men and 41% of positive men reported an STI in the last year. Conclusions: Across all cities, despite widespread availability of anti-retroviral treatment and national policy to promote HIV testing, many HIV infections remain undiagnosed. Data from this community sample demonstrate high levels of risk behaviour and STI incidence, especially among those who are HIV positive. Renewed efforts are needed to increase diagnosis and to reduce risk behaviour to stem the continuing transmission of HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-396
Number of pages5
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Volume83
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

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