In New York City MSM With Rectal Bacterial Infection, One in 15 Gets HIV Yearly

This article was reported by the Westside Gazette (Broward County, Fla.).

An article in Westside Gazette reported a study on New York City men who have sex with men (MSM) with rectal bacterial infections and HIV infection. According to the study, one in 15 MSM with rectal chlamydia or gonorrhea was diagnosed with HIV infection in a year, compared to one in 40 MSM who did not have rectal chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Researchers studied HIV-negative MSM presenting at New York City sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics who were or were not diagnosed with rectal chlamydia or rectal gonorrhea from January 2008 to March 2010. Of 276 HIV-negative MSM with rectal chlamydia or gonorrhea, 31 were diagnosed with HIV, including 14 who were diagnosed by medical personnel outside of the clinic. Of 276 HIV-negative MSM attending the same STI clinics and who did not have rectal chlamydia or gonorrhea, 12 were diagnosed with HIV at follow-up. The annual HIV incidence was 6.67 percent in the group with rectal bacterial infection and 2.53 percent in the group without.

The sole factor that raised the risk of HIV in MSM with rectal bacterial infection was black race, which increased the risk five times. The researchers concluded that identifying and treating rectal infections may prevent HIV transmission, as rectal infections increase an individual's susceptibility to HIV. Also, rectal infections are indicators of behavioral risk and may identify patients who can benefit from intensive risk reduction counseling and other methods of reducing HIV transmission risk.

The full report, "HIV Incidence Among Men With and Those Without Sexually Transmitted Rectal Infections: Estimates From Matching Against an HIV Case Registry," was published by the journal Clinical infectious Diseases (2013; 57(8):1203-1209).

This information was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.