Recently acquired HIV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) in France, 2003-2008
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An increase in the number of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) was observed in several countries in the early 2000s. In this article, we explore the trends among 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.