High HIV incidence and prevalence and associated factors among young MSM, 2008

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To estimate HIV prevalence, annual HIV incidence density, and factors associated with HIV infection among young MSM in the United States.


The 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS), a cross-sectional survey conducted in 21 US cities.


NHBS respondents included in the analysis were MSM aged 18–24 with a valid HIV test who reported at least one male sex partner in the past year. We calculated HIV prevalence and estimated annual incidence density (number of HIV infections/total number of person-years at risk). Generalized estimating equations were used to determine factors associated with testing positive for HIV.


Of 1889 young MSM, 198 (10%) had a positive HIV test; of these, 136 (69%) did not report previously testing HIV positive when interviewed. Estimated annual HIV incidence density was 2.9%; incidence was highest for blacks. Among young MSM who did not report being HIV infected, factors associated with testing HIV positive included black race; less than high school education; using both alcohol and drugs before or during last sex; having an HIV test more than 12 months ago; and reporting a visit to a medical provider in the past year.


HIV prevalence and estimated incidence density for young MSM were high. Individual risk behaviors did not fully explain HIV risk, emphasizing the need to address sociodemographic and structural-level factors in public health interventions targeted toward young MSM.

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