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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Increases in newly acquired HIV infections in Victoria, Australia: epidemiological evidence of successful prevention?

Anita Feigin A , Carol El-Hayek A , Margaret Hellard A B , Alisa Pedrana A B , Ellen Donnan C , Christopher Fairley D , B. K. Tee E and Mark Stoové A B F

A Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.

B Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.

C Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit, Victorian Government Department of Health, Melbourne, Vic. 3000, Australia.

D Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and the School of Population Health University of Melbourne, Vic. 3053, Australia.

E Centre Clinic, Victorian AIDS Council, Melbourne, Vic. 3182, Australia.

F Corresponding author. Email: stoove@burnet.edu.au

Sexual Health 10(2) 166-170 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH12064
Submitted: 3 May 2012  Accepted: 30 November 2012   Published: 5 April 2013

Abstract

Background: Rates of newly acquired HIV notifications provide useful data for monitoring transmission trends. Methods: We describe 10-year (2001–10) trends in newly acquired HIV notifications in Victoria, Australia. We also examine recent trends in HIV testing and incidence and risk behaviours among gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM) attending four high MSM caseload clinics. Results: Between 2001 and 2010 there was a significant increasing linear trend in newly acquired HIV that was driven primarily by increases between 2009–2010. MSM accounted for 85% of newly acquired HIV notifications. Between 2007–10, the total number of HIV tests per year at the high caseload clinics increased 41% among MSM and HIV incidence declined by 52%; reported risk behaviours remained relatively stable among these MSM. Conclusion: More newly acquired HIV notifications may reflect recent increased testing among MSM; continued scrutiny of surveillance data will assess the sustained effectiveness of testing as prevention, health promotion and the contribution of risk and testing behaviours to HIV surveillance outcomes.

Additional keywords: AIDS, epidemiology, HIV testing, men who have sex with men, surveillance.


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