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High HIV Rate for Men Having Sex With Men in France

Last Updated: September 10, 2010.

Although overall HIV incidence rates in France declined between 2003 and 2008, the rate was drastically higher among men who have sex with men than among other groups, according to research published online Sept. 9 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

FRIDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although overall HIV incidence rates in France declined between 2003 and 2008, the rate was drastically higher among men who have sex with men (MSM) than among other groups, according to research published online Sept. 9 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Stéphane Le Vu, Ph.D., of the Institut de Veille Sanitaire in Saint-Maurice, France, and colleagues analyzed reports from the French National Institute for Public Health Surveillance for patients who were newly diagnosed with HIV between January 2003 and December 2008 to estimate the incidence of HIV infection in France during the period.

In 2008, 6,480 new diagnoses of HIV infection were identified in France after accounting for under-reporting. The investigators estimated that there were 6,940 new HIV infections in 2008, indicating an HIV incidence of 17 per 100,000 person-years. Among heterosexuals, there were 3,550 new HIV infections in 2008 (incidence of nine per 100,000 person-years). Among MSM, there were 3,320 new HIV infections (1,006 per 100,000 person-years), and there were 70 new HIV infections occurring in injecting drug users (86 per 100,000 person-years). The overall HIV incidence fell from 2003 to 2008, but the incidence was comparatively stable and high in MSM.

"In France, HIV transmission disproportionately affects certain risk groups and seems to be out of control in the MSM population. Incidence should be tracked to monitor transmission dynamics in the various population risk groups and to help to target and assess prevention strategies," the authors write.

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