International AIDS Society


Molecular epidemiology of HIV–1 in men who have sex with men from gay saunas in Taiwan from 2000 to 2003

S F Lai1, C P Hong2, Y C Lan1, K T Chen3, W W Wong4, B S Hu5, Y M Chen1
1AIDS Prevention and Research Center,Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 2Living with Hope Organization, Taiwan Society of reventive Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; 3Taipei Venereal Disease Control Institute, Taipei, Taiwan; 4Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; 5Tai-chung Veterans General Hospital, Tai-chung, Taiwan

Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 48% (2,518/5,221) of all the reported HIV–1 infection in Taiwan. The objective was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors among MSM from gay saunas in Taiwan.
Methods: Anonymous HIV–1 enzyme immunoassay, pre–test counseling and condoms have been given to MSM from gay saunas in Taiwan since Jan. 2003. Questionnaires were collected in 2003 for risk factor study using univariate and multivariate analysis. Seropositive cases were confirmed by Western Blot assay. HIV–1 subtypes were determined using PCR and DNA sequencing.
Results: The HIV–1 prevalence rates of MSM from gay saunas in Taiwan in years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 were 9.5% (33/348), 5.2% (16/307), 5.8% (15/260), and 6.9% (38/549), respectively. In total, 102 of 1,464 (7.0%) MSM participated had HIV–1 infection. 52 HIV–1 strains were genotyped and all of them were B subtype. 466 questionnaires of 549 MSM (84.9%) were collected in 2003 and the results showed that 40.7% have never been tested for HIV–1; 39.4% were single; 69.2% were homosexual and 27.6% were bisexual. The HIV–seropositive men were significantly younger than the seronegatives (29.1 ±6.2 vs. 33.7 ± 9.7, p <0.05). Only 39.6% used condoms every time when they had sex. Multivariate logistic regression analysis (stepwise) showed that the risk factors for HIV–1 were: 1. had not been circumcised (OR =11.5; 95% CI, 1.5–90.1); 2. versatile role vs. top role (OR =4.1; 95% CI, 1.4–11.8); 3. less frequent usage of condoms (OR =3.0; 95% CI, 1.2–7.3); and 4. frequent drug usage (OR =4.4; 95% CI, 1.1–17.8).
Conclusion: Seven % (102/1,464) of MSM participated in this program had HIV–1 infection. Most of them were infected with HIV–1 B subtype. No circumcision, versatile role, unsafe sex and drug usage were the four main risk factors for HIV–1 infection.

The XV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. WePeC6097

Suggested Citation
" S F Lai , , et al. Molecular epidemiology of HIV–1 in men who have sex with men from gay saunas in Taiwan from 2000 to 2003. Poster Exhibition: The XV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. WePeC6097"