To determine the prevalence of virological failure and HIV drug resistance among Chinese patients one year after initiating lamivudine-based first-line antiretroviral treatment.
A prospective cohort study with follow-up at 12 months was conducted in four urban sentinel sites in China. Antiretroviral naive patients ≥18 years old were recruited. Blood samples were collected for testing CD4 cell count, viral load, and (for samples with HIV-1 RNA ≥1000 copies/ml) genotyping of drug resistance.
A total of 513 patients were enrolled in this cohort, of whom 448 (87.3%) were retained at 12 months. The median final CD4 cell count was 313 cells/mm3, which increased from 192 cells/mm3 at baseline (P<0.0001). Of the 448 remaining subjects, 394 (87.9%) had successful virological suppression (HIV RNA <1000 copies/ml). Among 54 samples with viral load ≥1000 copies/ml, 40 were successfully genotyped, and 11 were found with detectable HIV drug resistance mutations. Of these, the proportions of drug resistance to NNRTIs, NRTIs and PIs were 100%, 81.8% and 0%, respectively. Injecting drug use (AOR = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.19,0.84; P = 0.0154), CD4 count at baseline ≥350 cells/mm3 (AOR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.14,0.72; P = 0.0056), and missed doses in the past month (AOR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.15,0.60; P = 0.0006) were significantly negatively associated with HIV RNA <1000 copies/ml.
Our study demonstrates effective virological and immunological outcomes at 12 months among these who initiated first-line ART treatment. However, patients infected through drug injection, who missed doses, or with higher CD4 count at baseline are at increased risk for poor virological response.
Acceptability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and willingness to participate in a clinical trial for both safety and efficacy of PrEP were investigated among female sex workers (FSWs) in Guangxi, China.
A cross-sectional study was performed in three cities in Guangxi. Structured, self-administered questionnaires were used to assess the acceptability of PrEP and the willingness to participate in a clinical trial. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to identify predictors.
Among 405 participants, 15.1% had heard of PrEP. If PrEP was deemed to be effective, safe and provided for free, 85.9% reported that they would accept it, and 54.3% of those who accepted PrEP said that they would participate in a clinical trial. The increased acceptability of PrEP was associated with working in male dominated venues, higher income, a poor family relationship, better HIV/AIDS knowledge, not realizing HIV risk from unfamiliar clients, not being forced to use condoms by the gatekeepers, consistent use of condoms, and use of drugs to prevent STD infection. The increased willingness to participate in a clinical trial was associated with a poor family relationship, better HIV/AIDS knowledge, not realizing HIV risk from unfamiliar clients, a willingness to adhere to daily PreP use, and not being concerned about discrimination by others. The main reason for rejecting PrEP or participating in a clinical trial was the concern about the side effects of PrEP.
Acceptability of PrEP among Guangxi FSWs is relatively high, indicating that PrEP intervention programs may be feasible for Chinese FSWs. Given the fact that most of the participants had never heard of PrEP before, and that family, gatekeepers, and social discrimination could significantly affect its acceptability, a comprehensive mix of multiple interventions is necessary for the successful implementation of a PrEP program among this population in Guangxi.
To evaluate the impact of harm reduction programs on HIV and syphilis infection and related risk behaviors among female sex workers (FSWs) in a drug trafficking city in Southwest China.
Before and after harm reduction program study.
Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted among FSWs before and after harm reduction programs were launched in Xichang city, Sichuan province. The first and second cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2004 and 2010, respectively. Temporal changes in odds of HIV, syphilis, and behavioral risk factors were assessed by multivariable logistic regression while controlling for socio-demographics.
The 2004 and 2010 cross-sectional surveys recruited 343 and 404 FSWs, respectively. From 2004 to 2010, the odds of syphilis infection decreased by 35% and was of borderline statistical significance (AOR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.41–1.03), while odds of HIV infection rose, but not significantly (AOR: 4.12, 95% CI: 0.76–22.45). Although odds of unprotected sex with primary sex partners did not significantly change over time (AOR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.61–1.50), odds of unprotected sex with clients declined significantly and remarkably (AOR: 0.14, 95% CI: 0.09–0.21). Notably, the odds of reporting ≥10 new sex partners in the previous month increased by 37% (AOR: 1.37; 95% CI: 0.98–1.90).
Harm reduction strategies may be an effective means of reducing unprotected sex with clients among FSWs. Future research is needed to better target both FSWs and IDUs and interrupt bridging networks for HIV transmission in high drug-using areas of China.
It is known that transmitted drug resistance (TDR) will most likely emerge in regions where antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been widely available for years. However, after a decade of rapid scale-up of ART in China, there are few data regarding TDR among HIV-infected patients prior to initiating first-line ART in China. A prospective, observational cohort study was performed at sentinel sites in five provinces or municipalities. Study participants were recruited at the county- or city-level centers for disease control (CDCs), during routine monitoring visits following referral from diagnosing parties (e.g., hospitals). Each province or municipality recruited 140 patients through sequential sampling throughout the 2011 calendar year. A total of 627 eligible subjects were included in the analysis. the median CD4+ cell count was 206 cells/ml at the baseline survey. The majority of patients (93.5%) had plasma HIV viral load ≥1,000 copies/ml. Of the 627 patients, 17 (2.7%) had drug resistance mutations for any type of HIV drugs. The prevalence of drug resistance mutations to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) drugs (8/627, 1.3%) was higher than to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) drugs (5/627, 0.8%) and protease inhibitor (PI) drugs (4/627, 0.6%). A logistic regression model showed that the only predictive factor was the route of infection through homosexual intercourse, i.e., men who have sex with men (MSM) status. As HIV prevalence is rising rapidly among Chinese MSM, it is essential to continue surveying this risk group and related high-risk populations with low awareness of HIV, and to develop new public health interventions that help to reduce the spread of drug-resistant HIV.
To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of risk reduction interventions on HIV-related risk behaviors among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)
Studies included in the meta-analysis were randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of risk reduction interventions, which targeted PLWHA aged 18 year or older and assessed the changes of number of sexual partners, drug use, needle sharing, and/or alcohol abuse between pre- and post-intervention. The standardized mean differences (SMD) between study arms as well as between baseline and post-intervention, defined as the effect sizes (ES), were calculated in random effects models. Heterogeneity of studies was estimated by the I2 statistic.
Twelve RCTs involving 3993 PLWHA were included in our analysis: seven reported impacts on the number of sexual partners, and three reported impacts on drug use, needle sharing, and alcohol abuse, respectively. There were no statistically significant impacts of risk reduction interventions on the number of total sexual partners (mean ES, -0.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.26, 0.06; P=0.22) or on the subset of HIV-negative or unknown-status sexual partners (mean ES, 0.003; 95% CI, -0.54, 0.54; P=0.99). Overall, risk reduction intervention studies documented a reduction of drug abuse (mean ES: -0.26; 95% CI: -0.51, -0.01; P=0.04) among HIV-infected drug users, but this impact was mainly attributable to one study. Risk reduction interventions did not show a reduction of needle sharing (mean ES, -0.15; 95% CI, -0.43, 0.13; P=0.29) or of alcohol abuse (mean ES, -0.10; 95% CI, -0.36, 0.17; P=0.47). No heterogeneity or publication bias was found across individual studies.
Our meta-analysis did not find a positive impacts of risk reduction interventions on number of sexual partners, drug use, needle sharing, or alcohol abuse among PLWHA, but the small number of studies meeting our review criteria limits these findings.
People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA); Randomized clinical trial (RCT); Sexual partners; Positive prevention; Drug use; Alcohol abuse; Meta-analysis
Three models for promoting male circumcision (MC) as a preventative intervention against HIV infection were compared among migrant worker populations in western China.
A cohort study was performed after an initial cross-sectional survey among migrant workers in three provincial level districts with high HIV prevalence in western China. A total of 1,670 HIV seronegative male migrants were cluster-randomized into three intervention models, in which the dissemination of promotional materials and expert- and volunteer-led discussions are conducted in one, two, and three stage interventions. Changes in knowledge of MC, acceptability of MC, MC surgery uptake, and the costs of implementation were analyzed at 6-month and 9-month follow-up visits.
All three models significantly increased the participants’ knowledge about MC. The three-stage model significantly increased the acceptability of MC among participants and led to greatest increase in MC uptake. At the end of follow-up, 9.2% (153/1,670) of participants underwent MC surgery; uptake among the one-, two-, and three-stage models were 4.9%, 9.3%, and 14.6%, respectively. Multivariable Cox regression analysis showed that three-stage model was the most effective method to scale up MC, with RR = 2.0 (95% CI, 1.3-3.1, P=0.002) compared to the on-site session model. The two-stage intervention model showed no significant difference with either the on-site session model (RR=1.5, 95% CI, 0.92-2.4, P=0.12) or three-stage model (P=0.10).
A three-stage intervention with gradual introduction of knowledge led to the significantly increase in MC uptake among migrant workers in western China, and was also the most cost-effective method among the three models.
To determine prevalence, genotypes and predictors of anal human papillomavirus (HPV) among HIV-infected and uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing, China. In 2010–2011, we recruited MSM (age range 18–61; median 28 years) through peer volunteers, and collected demographic/behavioral information via interviewer-administrated questionnaires. Trained health workers collected anal swabs for HPV genotyping by PCR and blood samples for HIV/syphilis serologies . We obtained anal specimens from 212 HIV-infected and 459 HIV-uninfected participants. Among HIV-infected MSM, 82.1% were HPV-infected vs. 57.5% in HIV-uninfected (p<0.01). HIV-infected men had the greatest likelihood of multiple types: 17.9% uninfected; 36.3% with one type; 36.8% with 2–3; 9.0% with >4. Oncogenic HPV prevalence was higher among HIV- infected (61.3%) than uninfected participants (39.7%; p<0.01). HIV-uninfected MSM reporting always using condoms during insertive anal intercourse (past 6 months) were less likely to be HPV-infected (OR=0.49, 95%CI: 0.31–0.77). Among HIV-uninfected MSM, HPV infection was associated with unprotected receptive anal intercourse (past 6 months; OR=1.92, 95%CI: 1.19–3.11) and being forced to have sex (previous year; OR=3.32, 95%CI: 1.10–10.0). Multivariable logistic analysis among HIV infected MSM suggested that unprotected oral intercourse (past 6 months) was associated with HPV (adjusted OR=2.12, 95%CI: 1.00–4.48). Syphilis occurred in 55.8% of HIV-infected/HPV-infected, 50.0% of HIV-infected/HPV-uninfected, 19.6% of HIV-uninfected/HPV-infected, and 13.0% of HIV-uninfected/HPV-uninfected MSM. HPV anal infections were more common among HIV-infected than uninfected MSM in China, including oncogenic and multiple types. Unprotected oral and receptive anal sex were significant HPV risk factors. Promotion of safer sex and HPV vaccination is strongly recommended among MSM.
Human papillomavirus; HIV; syphilis; genotype; men who have sex with men; China
HIV testing is the gateway for prevention and care. We explored factors associated with HIV testing among Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM).
In Chongqing City, we recruited 492 MSM in 2010 using respondent driven sampling in a cross-sectional study. Computer-assisted self-interviews were conducted to collect information on history of HIV testing.
Only 58% of participants reported ever having taken an HIV test. MSM who had a college degree [adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.7; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2-2.6; P=0.008] were more likely to take a test; those who preferred a receptive role in anal sex were less likely to do so than those with insertive sex preference (AOR: 0.6; 95% CI: 0.35-0.94; P=0.03); those who used condoms with the recent male partner during the past 6 months were more likely to get tested (AOR: 2.87; 95%CI: 1.25-6.62; P=0.01). Principal perceived barriers to testing included: fear of knowing a positive result, fear of discrimination if tested positive, low perceived risk of HIV infection, and not knowing where to take a test. Factors reported to facilitate testing were sympathetic attitudes from health staff and guaranteed confidentiality. Prevalence was high: 11.7% HIV-positive and 4.7% syphilis positive.
The HIV testing rate among MSM in Chongqing is still low, though MSM prevalence is high compared to other Chinese cities. MSM preferring receptive anal sex are less likely to get testing and perceive having lower HIV risk. Along with expanded education and social marketing, a welcoming and non-judgmental environment for HIV testing is needed.
Human immunodeficiency virus; syphilis; men who have sex with men; HIV testing; respondent driven sampling; China
To evaluate the effect of risk reduction interventions on HIV knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China.
We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of HIV risk reduction intervention studies among Chinese MSM. The summary difference of standardized mean differences (SMD) between both study arms or between pre- and post-intervention assessments were defined as the effect size (ES); ES was calculated using standard meta-analysis in random effects models.
Thirty-four eligible studies were included in the analysis, including two randomized clinical trials (RCT), six quasi-experimental studies, six pre-and-post intervention studies, and twenty serial cross-sectional intervention studies. These studies showed an increase in consistent condom use with any male sexual partners (mean ES, 0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35–0.56), with regular sexual partners (mean ES, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.18–0.63), and casual sexual partners (mean ES, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.24–0.79). The analysis of ten studies that measured the impact on uptake of HIV testing also showed a positive result (mean ES, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.38–0.71). The risk reduction interventions also improved HIV/AIDS-related knowledge (mean ES, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.60–0.94) and attitudes (mean ES, 1.35; 95% CI, 0.91–1.79), but did not reduce prevalence of HIV (mean ES, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.02–0.45) and syphilis infections (mean ES, −0.01; 95% CI, −0.19–0.17). There was significant heterogeneity among these studies.
On aggregate, HIV risk reduction interventions were effective in reducing risky behaviors and improving knowledge and attitudes among Chinese MSM, but were not associated with a change in the prevalence of HIV and syphilis. Future studies should use incidence as definitive study outcome.
To study the dynamics of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) and its association with virologic and immunologic failure as well as mortality among patients on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in China.
We recruited 365 patients on cART in two rural Chinese counties in 2003–2004 and followed them every 6 months until May 2010.
Virologic failure, HIVDR, immunologic failure and death were documented. We used Kaplan–Meier and the proportional hazards models to identify the timing of the events, and risk factors for mortality.
At the end of study, patients had been followed for 1974.3 person-years, a median of 6.1 years. HIVDR mutations were found in 235 (64.4%) patients and 75 died (20.5%, 3.8/100 person-years). Median time from cART to detection of virologic failure was 17.5 months, to HIVDR 36.6 months and to immunologic failure 55.2 months (≈18-month median interval between each adverse milestone). Being male, having a baseline CD4+ cell count of less than 50 cells/μl and HIVDR were associated with higher mortality. Patients who developed HIVDR in the first year of treatment had higher mortality than those developing HIVDR later (adjusted hazard ratio 1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.01–3.48).
HIVDR was common and was associated with higher mortality among Chinese patients on cART, particular when HIVDR was detected early in therapy. Our study reinforces the importance of improving patient adherence to cART in order to delay the emergence of HIVDR and obviate the need to switch to costly second-line drug regimens too early.
antiretroviral therapy; China; cohort; drug resistance; immunologic failure; mortality; virologic failure
Early detection of HIV infection enables timely care and treatment. However, many men who have sex with men (MSM) remain unaware of their HIV status because they do not or are unable to access HIV testing services. Oral fluid HIV rapid tests have the potential to increase HIV testing. This study is the first to evaluate willingness to use the oral fluid test among MSM in China.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Beijing from July to October, 2012. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires.
Of 262 who participated in the survey, 223(85.1%) reported that they were willing to use the oral fluid HIV rapid test. Willingness to use the oral fluid test was associated with higher education (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 2.40, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13–5.10), lack of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with male partners in the past one month (AOR: 2.38; 95% 95%CI: 1.15–4.95), having taken more than 4 HIV tests (AOR: 3.54; 95%CI:1.52–8.28), and having ever heard of the oral fluid HIV rapid test from gay friends or gay organizations (AOR: 3.24, 95%CI: 1.40–7.51). Among those who expressed willingness to use the oral fluid HIV rapid test, the median amount of money they were willing to pay was 8 dollars. Among the 39 participants who were unwilling to use the oral fluid test, 79.5% (31/39) expressed concerns about the accuracy of the oral fluid HIV rapid test results and 17.9%(7/39) reported that they were not familiar with the oral fluid test and did not know how to use such a test.
A high proportion of MSM in Beijing appear to be willing to use the oral fluid HIV rapid test. Appropriate cost and education measures could help improve acceptance of the oral fluid test.
It is generally believed that CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play a critical role in limiting the replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and in determining the outcome of the infection, and this effect may partly depend on which HIV product is preferentially targeted. To address the correlation between HIV-1-specific CTL responses and virus replication in a cohort of former plasma donors (FPDs), 143 antiretroviral therapy naive FPDs infected with HIV-1 clade B' strains were assessed for HIV-1-specific CTL responses with an IFN-γ Elispot assay at single peptide level by using overlapping peptides (OLPs) covering the whole consensus clade B proteome. By using a Spearman's rank correlation analysis, we found that the proportion of Gag-specific CTL responses among the total virus-specific CTL activity was inversely correlated with viral loads while being positively correlated to CD4 counts, as opposed to Pol- and Env-specific responses that were associated with increased viral loads and decreased CD4 counts. In addition, Vpr-specifc CTL responses showed a similar protective effect with Gag responses, but with a much lower frequency of recognition. Significantly, we also observed an association between HLA-A*30/B*13/Cw*06 haplotype and lower viral loads that was probably due to restricted Gag-specific CTL responses. Thus, our data demonstrate the prominent role of Gag-specific CTL responses in disease control. The advantage of HLA-A*30/B*13/Cw*06 haplotype in viral control may be associated with the contribution of Gag-specific CTL responses in the studied individuals.
human immunodeficiency virus type 1; cytotoxic T lymphocytes; human leukocyte antigen class I; Gag
We assessed HIV prevalence and associated behaviors and risk factors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing, China. Five hundred MSM were recruited for a biological and behavioral survey using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) in 2009. Serologic specimens were tested for markers of HIV and syphilis infection. A computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) administered questionnaire gathered information including demographic characteristics, sexual behaviors, HIV testing, and social norms concerning condom use. The adjusted HIV prevalence was 8.0%, syphilis 22.0%. HIV testing and disclosure was low; only 39.3% had HIV tested in the past 12 months, 49.7% knew their own HIV status and 22.8% knew their last male partner's HIV status. HIV infection was associated with syphilis, ever having sex with a woman, not knowing the HIV status of the most recent male partner, and never buying condoms in the past 12 months. Stronger endorsement of positive social norms around condom use strongly and predicted lower prevalence of HIV infection. Compared to surveys of similar design in the recent past, HIV continues to spread rapidly among Beijing's MSM. Our results identify points of intervention that, if addressed in time, may still alter the course of the epidemic including the promotion of HIV testing and partner disclosure, syphilis control and particularly changing social norms around condom use.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has significantly decreased mortality among Chinese HIV patients. However, emerging HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) poses a growing threat to the long-term success and durability of HAART.
Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted across the country from 2004 to 2006, respectively. Patients completed a questionnaire and provided blood for CD4 cell count, HIV viral load (VL), and HIV resistance genotyping. Factors associated with HIVDR were identified by logistic regression.
3667 unique patients were included across the three surveys. Among 2826 treatment-experienced patients, median duration of treatment was 17.4 (IQR 8.6–28.4) months and HIVDR was identified in 543 (19.2%). Factors significantly associated with HIVDR included ART drug distribution location, CD4 cell count, initial HAART regimen, self-reported medication adherence, and province.
Virologic failure increased over time on therapy but a significant proportion of patients in failure had no resistance mutations identified, suggesting that treatment adherence is suboptimal and must be emphasized. Due to the significantly higher risk of HIVDR in certain provinces, additional steps to reduce HIVDR should be taken.
(1) To assess the HIV incidence rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) in a large cohort study in Beijing, China and (2) to identify sociodemographic and behavioural risk factors of HIV seroconversion among MSM in Beijing, China.
A prospective cohort study.
Baseline and follow-up visits were conducted among MSM in Beijing, China.
A cohort of 797 HIV-seronegative MSM was recruited from August to December 2009, with follow-up occurring after 6 and 12 months.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
At baseline and follow-up visits, participants reported sociodemographic and sexual behaviour information, and were tested for HIV, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) and syphilis with whole blood specimens. Cox regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with HIV seroconversion.
Most study participants (86.8%) were retained by the 12-month follow-up. The HIV, HSV-2 and syphilis incidence rates were 8.09 (95% CI 6.92 to 9.26), 5.92 (95% CI 5.44 to 6.40) and 8.06 (95% CI 7.56 to 8.56) cases per 100 person-years, respectively. HIV seroconversion was significantly associated with being <25 years old, having <12 years of education, having >1 male sex partner in the past 6 months, and being syphilis positive or HSV-2 positive.
The HIV incidence among MSM in Beijing is serious. Interventions and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) should be combined with HIV control and prevention measures among MSM.
Although various HIV prevention programs targeting men who have sex with men (MSM) are operating in China, whether and how these programs are being utilized is unclear. This study explores participation of HIV prevention programs and influencing factors among MSM in two cities in China.
This is a mixed-method study conducted in Beijing and Chongqing. A qualitative study consisting of in-depth interviews with 54 MSM, 11 key informants, and 8 focus group discussions, a cross-sectional survey using respondent-driven sampling among 998 MSM were conducted in 2009 and 2010 respectively to elicit information on MSM’s perception and utilization of HIV prevention programs. Qualitative findings were integrated with quantitative multivariate factors to explain the quantitative findings.
Fifty-six percent of MSM in Chongqing and 75.1% in Beijing ever participated in at least one type of HIV prevention program (P=0.001). Factors related to participation in HIV prevention programs included age, ethnicity, income, HIV risk perception, living with boyfriend, living in urban area, size of MSM social network, having talked about HIV status with partners, and knowing someone who is HIV positive. Reasons why MSM did not participate in HIV prevention programs included logistical concerns like limited time for participation and distance to services; program content and delivery issues such as perceived low quality services and distrust of providers; and, cultural issues like HIV-related stigma and low risk perception.
The study shows that there is much room for improvement in reaching MSM in China. HIV prevention programs targeting MSM in China may need to be more comprehensive and incorporate the cultural, logistic and HIV-related needs of the population in order to effectively reach and affect this population’s risk for HIV.
MSM; HIV prevention programs; Utilization; Participation; China
China is experiencing a dynamic HIV/AIDS epidemic. While serology based surveillance systems have reported the spread of HIV/AIDS, detailed tracking of its transmission in populations and regions is not possible without mapping it at the molecular level. We therefore conducted a nationwide molecular epidemiology survey across the country.
HIV-1 genotypes were determined from 1,408 HIV-positive persons newly diagnosed in 2006. The prevalence of each genotype was estimated by weighting the genotype’s prevalence from each province- and risk-specific subpopulation with the number of reported cases in the corresponding subgroups in that year.
CRF07_BC (35.5%), CRF01_AE (27.6%), CRF08_BC (20.1%), and subtype B' (9.6%) were the four main HIV-1 strains in China. CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC were the primary drivers of infection among injecting drug users in northeastern and southeastern China, respectively, and subtype B' remained dominant among former plasma donors in central China. In contrast, all four strains occurred in significant proportions among heterosexuals nationwide, pointing to an expansion of the HIV-1 epidemic from high-risk populations into the general population. CRF01_AE also replaced subtype B as the principal driver of infection among men-who-have-sex-with-men.
Our study provides the first comprehensive baseline data on the diversity and characteristics of HIV/AIDS epidemic in China, reflecting unique region- and risk group-specific transmission dynamics. The results provide information critical for designing effective prevention measures against HIV transmission.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at a substantial risk of HIV, given rising HIV prevalence in urban China. Adolescent and adult students often take HIV-related risk as part of sexual exploration. We compared the risks of HIV and syphilis infections and risky sexual behaviors between student and non-student among urban MSM.
Respondent driven sampling approach was used to recruit men who were self-identified as MSM in Chongqing Metropolitan City in southwestern China in 2009. Each participant completed a computer-assisted self-interview which collected demographic and behavioral data, and provided blood specimens for HIV and syphilis testing. Multivariable logistic regression analyses identified predictors for HIV and syphilis infections while comparing student and non-student MSM.
Among 503 MSM participants, 36.4% were students, of whom 84.2% were in college. The adjusted prevalence of HIV infection was 5.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.1%–10.2%) in students and 20.9% (95% CI: 13.7%–27.5%) in non-students; the adjusted prevalence of syphilis was 4.4% (95% CI: 0.7%–9.0%) in students and 7.9% (95% CI: 3.6%–12.9%) in non-students (P = 0.12). Two groups had similar risky sexual behaviors such as number of sexual partners and exchanging sex for money. Multivariate analysis showed that students had lower HIV prevalence than non-students (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.1–0.8) adjusting for age, ethnicity and other variables.
Student MSM have lower HIV and similar syphilis prevalence compared with non-student MSM. However, due to a shorter duration of sexual experience and high prevalence of at-risk sexual behaviors among student MSM, HIV risk might be quite high in students as in non-students.
In the recent years, dramatic increases in HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) have been observed in China. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection related anal cancer is more common among HIV-infected MSM as compared to the general population. However, HPV infection and anal cytology has been rarely studied in HIV-infected MSM in China.
HIV-infected MSM in Beijing, China were invited to participate in this study between January and April 2011. Anal swabs were collected for examining cytology and HPV genotypes.
Ninety-five eligible participants with complete questionnaire and laboratory data were included in the analyses. Thirty six of them (37.9%) showed abnormal anal cytology as follows: atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) in 19 (20.0%), atypical squamous cells but cannot exclude HSIL (ASC-H) in 1 (1.1%), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) in 15 (15.8%), and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) in 1 (1.1%). HPV6 (20.0%), HPV16 (10.9%), HPV56 (10.9%), HPV52 (9.1%) and HPV39 (9.1%) were observed most frequently among those with normal anal cytology, while different distribution was found in the ones with abnormal anal cytology as HPV6 (19.4%), HPV16 (19.4%), HPV45 (16.7%), HPV52 (16.7%) and HPV18 (11.1%). In addition, HPV16, HPV45, HPV52 and HPV18 were the most frequent high-risk types in patients with abnormal anal cytology. HPV multiplicity was found to be significantly related to the prevalence of abnormal anal cytology (p for trend = 0.04).
High prevalence of HPV infection and abnormal anal cytology was observed among HIV-infected MSM in China. Infection of multiple HPV types or high-risk types was found to be associated with an increased risk of abnormal anal cytology.
We investigated the awareness and acceptability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men (MSM) and potential predicting factors.
This study was conducted among MSM in Beijing, China. Study participants, randomly selected from an MSM cohort, completed a structured questionnaire, and provided their blood samples to test for HIV infection and syphilis. Univariate logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the factors associated with willingness to accept (WTA) PrEP. Factors independently associated with willingness to accept were identified by entering variables into stepwise logistic regression analysis.
A total of 152 MSM completed the survey; 11.2% had ever heard of PrEP and 67.8% were willing to accept it. Univariate analysis showed that age, years of education, consistent condom use in the past 6 months, heterosexual behavior in the past 6 months, having ever heard of PrEP and the side effects of antiretroviral drugs, and worry about antiretroviral drugs cost were significantly associated with willingness to accept PrEP. In the multivariate logistic regression model, only consistent condom use in the past 6 months (odds ratio [OR]: 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.13–0.70) and having ever heard of the side effects of antiretroviral drugs (OR: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.14–0.67) were independently associated with willingness to accept PrEP.
The awareness of PrEP in the MSM population was low. Sexual behavioral characteristics and knowledge about ART drugs may have effects on willingness to accept PrEP. Comprehensive prevention strategies should be recommended in the MSM community.
Male circumcision (MC) has been shown to reduce the risk of female to male transmission of HIV. The goal of this survey was to explore the acceptability of MC among the Chinese and to identify factors associated with circumcision preference.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted between September 2009 and December 2010. We interviewed 2,219 male community participants, from three high HIV prevalence provinces in western China. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on MC knowledge, willingness to accept MC, reasons to accept or refuse MC, and sexual behaviors and health. For those who refused MC, a health education intervention providing information on the benefits of circumcision was conducted. We used multiple logistic regression models to identify factors associated with the acceptability of MC.
Of the respondents (n = 2,219), 44.6% (989/2,219) reported they would accept MC for the following reasons: promotion of female partners' hygiene (60.3%), redundant foreskin (59.4%), prevention of penile cancer (50.2%), enhanced sexual pleasure (41.4%), and protection against HIV and STDs (34.2%). The multivariable logistic regression showed that five factors were associated with MC willingness: long foreskin (OR = 15.98), residing in Xinjiang province (OR = 3.69), being younger than 25 (OR = 1.60), knowing hazards of redundant foreskin (OR = 1.78), and having a friend who underwent circumcision (OR = 1.36).
The acceptability of male circumcision was high among the general population in China. Our study elucidates the factors associated with circumcision preference and suggests that more health education campaigns about positive health effects are necessary to increase the MC rate in China.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2007 among 504 drug users who were recruited mainly from detoxification centers in southwest China. About one-third (34.3%) of participants reported recent risky drug use behavior, which was defined as injecting drugs in the past 3 months, and more than one-fifth (21.6%) reported recent risky sexual behavior, or had multiple sexual partners in the past 30 days. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–3.2) and more episodes of detoxification (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.3–6.0) were associated with higher odds of risky drug use behavior, while unmarried status (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0–2.9), higher personal annual income (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1–2.8) and history of sexually transmitted infections (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.1–6.6) were associated with higher odds of having risky sexual behavior. Subgroup analyses showed 15% participants who used drugs in the past 3 months also shared needles, and 77% participants who had multiple sexual partners in the past 30 days did not use condoms during sex with non-primary sexual partners. The study findings are useful for developing HIV risk reduction intervention programs among drug users.
HIV; Drug use; Sexual behavior; China
Recent data suggest that the prevalence of HIV/syphilis infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China increased rapidly. This cohort study was to assess the correlates of the incident infections for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) among sexually active and HIV–negative MSM in China. A cohort of 507 HIV-seronegative MSM was recruited from November 2006 to February 2007. Sociodemographics, sexual and drug use behaviors, uptake of HIV-prevention services, and HIV, syphilis, and HBV seroconversions were assessed at 6- and 12- month follow-up. The incidence rates were 2.6 per 100 person-years for HIV, 16.9 per 100 person-years for syphilis, and 3.3 per 100 person-years for HBV. Multivariate Cox regression analyses showed that syphilis infection (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1–11.6) and no perceived risk of HIV infection (HR = 6.0; 95% CI: 1.6–22.7) were independently associated with HIV seroconversion. Predictors for syphilis seroconversion included less education (HR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.1–3.3), found male sex partners through bathhouses/public washrooms/parks (HR = 2.19; 95% CI: 1.2–4.0), drank alcohol 4 or more times monthly (HR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.1–3.6), and had sexually transmitted diseases (HR = 2.65; 95% CI: 1.5–4.5). The only predictor for incident HBV seroconvension was having more male sex partners in the past 3 months (HR = 11.8; 95% CI: 1.5–90.4). Alarmingly high incidence rates of HIV, syphilis, and HBV were found among MSM concurrently with high prevalent risky behaviors and low uptakes of health care services. The findings of this study underscore the urgent needs for a comprehensive intervention strategy to curtail the rapid spread of HIV, syphilis, and HBV.