HIV-Positive MSM Finding Partners Through "Sero-Sorting" Might Be Contributing to Decline in HIV Incidence in San Francisco
August 18, 2005
Health officials in San Francisco are "scrambling" to explain an apparent decline in annual HIV incidence among the city's men who have sex with men, the New York Times reports (Murphy, New York Times, 8/18). A CDC study released in June found San Francisco's HIV incidence rate among MSM has nearly halved in the last four years. The study, based on a survey of 365 MSM who were tested in the city, found an annual incidence rate of 1.2%, compared with city epidemiologists' previous estimate of 2.2%. The study led the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Office of AIDS to analyze data sets collected by the Stop AIDS Project and surveys of new cases at city clinics, both of which indicated a similar decrease in the number of new HIV cases (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/21). Willi McFarland, director of the HIV seroepidemiology unit at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said, "We interpret this CDC report as good news, and there are some other encouraging trends and results of other studies," adding, "But we definitely do need to corroborate and independently confirm any decrease in HIV incidence by carefully examining other data. We also need to figure out if this is true, then why."
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