High HIV incidence among young Black men who have sex with men: constructing a retrospective cohort from a community health programme

Authors:

Mackey R. Friedman
Nayck B. Feliz
Jess Netto
Brian J. Adams
Derrick D. Matthews
Ron Stall
Ken S. Ho
Sarah E. Krier
Tony Silvestre

Abstract:

Objectives We sought to calculate HIV incidence in a retrospective cohort of young (13–29 years old) black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) accessing repeated HIV-antibody testing in a mid-size city in the USA.

Methods We aggregated site-specific HIV-antibody testing results from the project’s inception among YBMSM who received an initial negative result and accessed at least one additional HIV-antibody test. From these data, we assessed number of seroconversions and person-years and calculated HIV incidence using a mid-P exact test to estimate 95% CIs.

Results Five seroconversions were documented over 42.3 person-years (the mean age at first onsite test: 19.7 years), resulting in an HIV incidence rate of 11.8% (95% CI 4.3% to 26.2%). The mean age at seroconversion was 20.4 (±3.0) years.

Conclusions Even in mid-size cities with low HIV prevalence rates in the general population, HIV incidence among YBMSM may be high. Community-based HIV-antibody testing organisations serving YBMSM should be encouraged and trained to track repeated HIV testing and calculate HIV incidence rates. Increased resources should be deployed to develop and encourage regular HIV testing in community health sites serving YBMSM.