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PLoS One. 2019 Feb 14;14(2):e0212268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212268. eCollection 2019.

HIV diagnoses in migrant populations in Australia-A changing epidemiology.

Author information

1
Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
2
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
3
Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
4
School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
5
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
6
Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia.
7
Communicable Diseases Branch, Queensland Department of Health, Brisbane, Australia.
8
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health, Melbourne, Australia.
9
Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

We conducted a detailed analysis of trends in new HIV diagnoses in Australia by country of birth, to understand any changes in epidemiology, relationship to migration patterns and implications for public health programs.

METHODS:

Poisson regression analyses were performed, comparing the age-standardised HIV diagnosis rates per 100,000 estimated resident population between 2006-2010 and 2011-2015 by region of birth, with stratification by exposure (male-to-male sex, heterosexual sex-males and females). Correlation between the number of permanent and long-term arrivals was also explored using linear regression models.

RESULTS:

Between 2006 and 2015, there were 6,741 new HIV diagnoses attributed to male-to-male sex and 2,093 attributed to heterosexual sex, with the proportion of diagnoses attributed to male-to-male sex who were Australian-born decreasing from 72.5% to 66.5%. Compared with 2006-2010, the average annual HIV diagnosis rate per 100,000 in 2011-15 attributed to male-to-male sex was significantly higher in men born in South-East Asia (summary rate ratio (SRR) = 1.37, p = 0.001), North-East Asia (SRR = 2.18, p<0.001) and the Americas (SRR = 1.37, p = 0.025), but significantly lower as a result of heterosexual sex in men born in South-East Asia (SRR = 0.49, p = 0.002), Southern and Central Asia (SRR = 0.50, p = 0.014) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SRR = 0.39, p<0.001) and women born in South-East Asia (SRR = 0.61, p = 0.002) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SRR = 0.61, p<0.001). Positive associations were observed between the number of permanent and long-term arrivals and HIV diagnoses particularly in relation to diagnoses associated with male-to-male sex in men from North Africa and the Middle East, North Asia, Southern and Central Asia and the Americas.

CONCLUSION:

The epidemiology of HIV in Australia is changing, with an increase in HIV diagnosis rates attributed to male-to-male sex amongst men born in Asia and the Americas. Tailored strategies must be developed to increase access to, and uptake of, prevention, testing and treatment in this group.

Conflict of interest statement

Anita Heywood has received grant funding for investigator-driven research from the commercial funders GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for research unrelated to this study. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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