Issue: November 2017
November 21, 2017
2 min read

HIV care outcomes improve among MSM

Issue: November 2017
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HIV surveillance data recently published in MMWR show that HIV care outcomes have improved for men who have sex with men in the United States, with 84% linked to care within 3 months of their diagnosis in 2015 compared with 78% in 2010.

Although the rate of HIV diagnoses is on the decline, men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for almost 70% of all new diagnoses in 2015, including 3% who were also persons who inject drugs.

“MSM accounted for the majority of diagnoses of HIV infection made in 2015 and the majority of persons living with HIV at year-end 2014,” Sonia Singh, PhD, from the division of HIV/AIDS prevention at the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, and colleagues wrote in the report.

According to the researchers, 19% of HIV infections diagnosed among MSM in 2015 were classified as stage 3, and 75% of MSM with diagnoses of HIV infection were linked to care within 1 month. Black MSM and MSM aged younger than 25 years were less likely to be linked to care within 1 month of their HIV diagnosis compared with other racial/ethnic and age groups, according to the report.

HIV care outcomes in 2015 improved for MSM, the researchers said, including linkage to care (77.5% in 2010 compared with 84% in 2015), retention in care (50.9% vs. 57.7%), and viral suppression (42% vs. 61.2%).

By 2020, the CDC hopes to have 85% of all Americans with newly diagnosed HIV infection linked to care within 1 month of their HIV diagnosis, 90% retained in care and 80% achieve viral suppression.

The CDC recommends routine voluntary HIV screening for all people aged 13 to 64 years, and that people at high risk for HIV infection receive annual testing. They also suggest that more frequent screening may be beneficial for sexually active MSM — perhaps every 3 to 6 months.

“Testing is the gateway to the continuum of care for persons who test positive and, along with risk assessment, the gateway to pre-exposure prophylaxis for those who test negative,” Singh and colleagues wrote. “To prevent HIV infection among MSM, care outcomes can improve by increasing access and adherence to antiretroviral therapy by persons already infected and to pre-exposure prophylaxis by those not known to be infected.” – by Savannah Demko

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.