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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018 Feb 1;77(2):128-134. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001586.

Are HIV Seroconversions Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men Associated With Social Network Proximity to Recently or Long-Term HIV-Infected Individuals?

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Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Chicago Center for HIV Elimination, Chicago, IL.
NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.


Debate remains as to the relative HIV transmission contributions from individuals who are recently HIV-infected and individuals who have long-term infections. In this study, we examine the relationship between new HIV seroconversions occurring among young black men who have sex with men and network proximity to recently or long-term HIV-infected individuals. A cohort of young black men who have sex with men (N = 618) was generated through respondent-driven sampling across 3 waves. A recent HIV infection was defined as either: (1) a confirmed seroconversion ≤9 months before interview date or (2) a laboratory confirmed acute infection; long-term HIV-infected individuals were defined as a diagnosis date ≥9 months before interview date. Respondent-driven sampling-weighted logistic regression was used to examine network proximity of HIV transmission events to HIV-infected individuals in the network. Within the cohort, 343 (55.5%) participants were identified as HIV seronegative at baseline. Of these, 33 (9.6%) seroconverted during the study period. The odds of seroconversion increased significantly with each additional recent HIV-infected individual in one's network [adjusted odds ratio = 12.96; 95% confidence interval: 5.69 to 29.50], but were not significantly altered by the number of long-term infected individuals in one's network. In addition, for each member of one's network who used pre-exposure prophylaxis, the odds of seroconversion decreased significantly (adjusted odds ratio = 0.44; 95% confidence interval: 0.20 to 0.96). Early diagnosis and treatment is a critical first step in the HIV care continuum and together with pre-exposure prophylaxis awareness and use are critical targets for disrupting the transmission of HIV through most at-risk networks.

[Available on 2019-02-01]

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