Incident HIV infection has fallen rapidly in men who have sex with men in Melbourne, Australia (2013-2017) but not in the newly-arrived Asian-born

Nicholas A. Medland, Eric P.F. Chow, Timothy H.R. Read, Jason J. Ong, Marcus Chen, Ian Denham, Praveena Gunaratnum, Christopher K. Fairley

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Background: We examined differences in incident HIV infection between newly-arrived Asian-born and other men who have sex with men (MSM) after the introduction of universal HIV treatment guidelines in 2015 and pre-exposure prophylaxis in 2016. Methods: Clinical, demographic, laboratory and behavioural data on MSM presenting for HIV testing at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre from July 2013 to June 2017 were extracted. We compared the proportion of newly-arrived (four years or less in Australia), Asian-born and other MSM tested each year who were diagnosed with incident HIV infection (negative test within one year or diagnosis with indeterminate or negative Western Blot). Results: We analysed 35,743 testing episodes in 12,180 MSM, including 2781 testing episodes in 1047 newly-arrived Asian-born MSM. The proportion of other MSM tested each year who were diagnosed with incident HIV infection fell from 0.83% in 2014 to 0.38% in 2017 (p = .001), but did not fall in newly-arrived Asian-born MSM (from 1.18% in 2014 to 1.56% in 2017, p = .76). In the multivariate logistic regression, in 2016/2017 but not in 2014/2015, being newly-arrived Asian-born was associated with an increased odds of diagnosis of incident HIV infection (aOR 3.29, 95%CI 1.82-5.94, p < .001). Conclusions: The epidemiology of HIV in Melbourne Australia has changed dramatically. While there has been an overall reduction amongst MSM, the incidence of HIV in newly-arrived Asian-born MSM remains high. Failing to address these new inequalities leaves individuals at risk and may offset the population benefit of biomedical HIV prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number410
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2018


  • HIV
  • Incidence
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • Sexual transmission
  • Treatment as prevention

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