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AIDS. 2011 Feb 20;25(4):493-501. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328342fbe9.

Ongoing HIV-1 transmission among men who have sex with men in Amsterdam: a 25-year prospective cohort study.

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Public Health Service of Amsterdam, Cluster of Infectious Diseases, Department of Research, The Netherlands.



To examine the suggested resurgence of the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM), we studied trends in HIV-1 incidence rates, sexual risk behaviour, risk factors for HIV-1 seroconversion, and source of HIV-1 infection among MSM in the Amsterdam Cohort Studies from 1984 to 2009.


Trends in HIV-1 incidence and risk factors for HIV-1 infection were studied using Poisson regression. Trends in sexual risk behaviour were evaluated using logistic regression, correcting for intra-individual correlation via generalized estimating equations. Trends in the source of HIV-1 infection were modelled via logistic regression.


Of 1642 HIV-1-negative individuals, 217 seroconverted during follow-up. HIV-1 incidence rates strongly decreased from 8.6/100 person-years in 1985 to 1.3/100 person-years in 1992; remained relatively stable around 1.0/100 person-years between 1992 and 1996, and slowly increased to 2.0/100 person-years in 2009 (P = 0.14; linear trend 1996-2009). Reports of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) increased significantly from 1996 onwards. HIV-1 seroconversion was associated with receptive UAI with casual partners, more than five sexual partners, a history of gonorrhoea (all in the preceding 6 months), and a lower educational level. Currently, MSM are more likely to have contracted HIV-1 from casual partners than from steady partners, but trends of recent years suggest that steady partners became a growing source with increasing age.


Following increases in sexual risk behaviour from 1996 onwards, HIV-1 continues to spread among MSM. Targeted prevention messages should continue to focus on sexual behaviour with casual partners, but also on sexual behaviour within steady relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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