"Seek, test, treat" lessons from Australia: a study of HIV testing patterns from a cohort of men who have sex with men

Wilkinson, Anna Lee, El-Hayek, Carol, Spelman, Tim, Fairley, Christopher, Leslie, David, McBryde, Emma, Hellard, Margaret, and Stoové, Mark (2015) "Seek, test, treat" lessons from Australia: a study of HIV testing patterns from a cohort of men who have sex with men. JAIDS, 69 (4). pp. 460-465.

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Objective: HIV diagnoses are increasing in Australia, mostly among men who have sex with men (MSM). Similar to many countries, Australia's HIV prevention strategies emphasize a "seek, test, treat" approach including enhancing HIV testing frequency. We describe HIV testing among MSM and correlates of returning for testing within 12 months in the context of new HIV prevention paradigms.

Methods: Testing and behavioral data (2007-2013) contributed by MSM aged >=16 years were included. Total HIV tests by calendar year and repeat tests within 12 months were described, alongside negative binomial regression for trend. A 2-level mixed-effects logistic regression model examined correlates of testing within 12 months. Median (days) between HIV tests was compared between MSM diagnosed with HIV and persistently HIV-negative MSM.

Results: The study included 46,060 tests from 17,904 MSM. There was an increase in annual tests (P < 0.01), repeat tests within 12 months (P < 0.01), and the proportion of tests within 12 months of an index test (P < 0.01), although only to 53.3% in 2013. Return rates were higher in MSM aged 16-29 years (adjusted odds ratio 1.30, 95% confidence interval: 1.1 to 1.5) and those reporting higher numbers of partners (adjusted odds ratio 3.5, 95% confidence interval: 3.0 to 4.0). Median time between tests among MSM diagnosed with HIV (233 days) was greater than for HIV-negative MSM (189 days) (P = 0.03).

Conclusions: Although testing has increased, testing frequency among many MSM remains suboptimal. To optimize "seek, test, treat"-based HIV prevention strategies, new approaches to increase testing uptake and early HIV detection among MSM are needed.

Item ID: 39734
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1944-7884
Keywords: HIV; men who have sex with men; prevention
Funders: Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2015 00:07
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160508 Health Policy @ 20%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920207 Health Policy Evaluation @ 50%
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