HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men in Istanbul

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Objectives The re-emergence of the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM) represents a serious health issue. This study aimed to assess the HIV prevalence among MSM in a very low prevalence population of a large city. Methods A public campaign to raise awareness of HIV infection and to provide access to anonymous testing was conducted in places frequented by MSM and through a mobile phone application. No identity information was requested from individuals contacting the call centre, and anonymous and free HIV testing was offered proactively. Those who agreed to have a test were provided a code number, which was used in blood sampling procedures. Results Of 1200 subjects who contacted the call centre, 197 consented to undergo HIV testing and visited the laboratory to give a blood sample. Twenty-five subjects were found to have a reactive ELISA result on two different occasions plus a positive Western blot test result. Thus, the HIV prevalence in this group of MSM was 12.7%. Conclusions MSM remain a high risk group for HIV infection in a low prevalence setting, and thus represent a key target population for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.




Sargin, F., & Goktas, S. (2017). HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men in Istanbul. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 54, 58–61.

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