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This Week In The Bmj

Prevalence of new HIV-1 infection in homosexual and bisexual men in England and Wales has not fallen

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 25 November 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:d

Routine serosurveillance data suggest that the prevalence of HIV-1 infection among homosexual and bisexual men attending genitourinary medicine clinics in England has fallen. But Catchpole et al (p 1319) suspected the data were misleading because specialist HIV services have drawn HIV infected men away from routine clinics and fewer are having serum tests. They therefore studied the prevalence of HIV-1 in homosexual or bisexual men without known HIV-1 presenting with a new actue sexually transmitted disease—a group that does attend routine clinics and has serum tested. In London the prevalence of HIV-1 among all men presenting with a sexually transmitted infection fell from 16.5% in 1993 to 9.0% in 1998, but when men known to be HIV-1 positive were excluded the prevalence of HIV-1 infection remained steady at 4.9%. The authors say that this indicates a high level of continuing infection.

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