High Transmissibility During Early HIV Infection Among Men Who Have Sex With Men—San Francisco, California


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Abstract

We estimate the relative transmission rate in early versus later infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco, California, by studying the characteristics of a sample of transmitters, recruited through newly diagnosed, recently infected MSM between 1996 and 2009. Of 36 transmitters identified, 9 were determined on the basis of testing history and serologic testing to have been recently infected. The unadjusted odds ratio of transmitting during early infection was 15.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.3–33.4; P < .001); the odds ratio was 8.9 (95% CI, 4.1–19.4) after adjustment for self-reported antiretroviral treatment. This high transmissibility could be due to both high infectiousness and high rates of sex partner change or concurrent partnerships.

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