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Comparing Australian gay and bisexual men with undiagnosed and recently diagnosed HIV infection to those in the National HIV Registry

Ian Down , Garrett Prestage , Graham Brown , Jeanne Ellard , Rebecca Guy , Margaret Hellard , David Wilson , John de Wit , Mark Stoove , Martin Holt

Abstract

Background: Behavioural data collected from samples of gay and bisexual men (GBM) recently diagnosed with HIV are an important tool to inform the Australian response to HIV. We sought to determine the representativeness of these study samples. The National HIV Registry (NHR) provides details about all individuals diagnosed with HIV. Method: We compared basic socio-demographic characteristics of GBM in the NHR who were diagnosed between 2010-2014 with three samples of GBM: men with undiagnosed HIV infection from the COUNT study of HIV prevalence and undiagnosed infection that was conducted alongside, and as part of, the Australian Gay Community Periodic Surveys (GCPS) during 2013-2014; men in the GCPS who were diagnosed with HIV between 2010-2014; and men in the HIV Seroconversion Study (SCS) who were also diagnosed in those years. Results: NHR identified 3,629 men who reported male-to-male sex as the exposure risk for their diagnosis between 2010-2014. The COUNT study identified 19 (8.9% of all men who tested HIV-positive) men as having undiagnosed HIV. Among 7,291 men in the GCPS sample, 185 (2.5%) reported being diagnosed with HIV in 2010-2014. 367 men in SCS received their diagnosis during 2010-2014. The mean age of men in the NHR was 36.8, which was similar to those in GCPS (36.3) and SCS (35.1), while undiagnosed men in COUNT were youngeras (32.6). years, younger than men the GCPS (36.3 years), SCS (35.1), and NHR (36.8). There were no other significant differences between the samples. Conclusions: Few differences were found between these study samples and the GBM in the NHR, thoughThe undiagnosed men were tended to be somewhat younger than men in the other samples. To achieve earlier diagnosis of new HIV infections, improved HIV testing rates arefrequency is needed among younger men. Some items were collected differently, so direct comparison was unreliable.

SH17064  Accepted 17 October 2017

© CSIRO 2017