Friday, June 3, 2011

Annual HIV Testing May Not Suffice for MSM

Via CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The findings from this analysis suggest that adherence to annual HIV testing recommendations for MSM is low and that even among MSM who reported being tested during the past 12 months, a substantial proportion were newly infected. Because persons often reduce their risk behaviors when they receive a diagnosis of HIV infection and persons who do not know they are infected are estimated to account for more than half of sexually transmitted HIV infections, increasing the frequency of HIV testing for MSM can reduce the time from HIV infection to diagnosis and reduce HIV transmission.

Current CDC guidelines identify MSM who should be tested more frequently according to their risk behaviors. However, among MSM in this analysis, those who had high-risk behaviors were not more likely to be newly infected than those without high-risk behaviors, suggesting that self-reported risk behaviors might not determine which MSM should be tested more frequently. The 7% prevalence of new HIV infection detected through NHBS among MSM who had been tested for HIV during the past year and the similar prevalence of new HIV infection among MSM with and without high-risk behaviors suggests that more frequent testing, perhaps as often as every 3 to 6 months, might be warranted among all sexually active MSM, regardless of their risk behaviors. In considering revising guidelines regarding frequency of testing among MSM, public health officials also should weigh other factors, including the acceptability and cost effectiveness of testing MSM more frequently and the sensitivity of tests in the early stages of infection.

Read the full report here.

[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article's content, whether in support or in opposition.]

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