The Prevalence of HIV Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) and Young MSM in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Systematic Review

Abstract

Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) under 25 years old are among the few populations with increasing numbers of new HIV infections in parts of the world where HIV incidence is declining overall. In this systematic review, we synthesize the literature on HIV prevalence among MSM in Latin America and the Caribbean focusing on YMSM. Results were stratified according to study population sampling method used (probability and non-probability based). Forty-seven studies from 17 countries were published in the last 10 years. Among studies using probability-based sampling method (N = 21), HIV prevalence among MSM ranged from 1.2 to 32.6%. HIV prevalence tended to increase over time in studies sampling at different time points. HIV prevalence among YMSM exceeded 5.0% in more than a half of studies (51%; N = 22/43). Our review corroborates the high and potentially rising incidence of HIV among YMSM and characterizes the region’s greatest challenge to ending the epidemic.

Resumen

Los hombres jóvenes que tienen sexo con hombres (JHSH) menores de 25 años se encuentran entre las pocas poblaciones con un aumento en las nuevas infecciones por VIH en regiones del mundo donde la incidencia del VIH está disminuyendo en general. En esta revisión sistemática, resumimos la literatura sobre la prevalencia del VIH entre HSH en América Latina y el Caribe, con un enfoque en JHSH. Los resultados se estratificaron por método de muestreo de la población de estudio (probabilístico y no probabilístico). Nuestra investigación encontró 47 estudios de 17 países publicados en los últimos 10 años. Entre los estudios que utilizaron muestreo probabilístico (N = 21), la prevalencia del VIH entre HSH osciló entre 1.2% y 32.6%. La prevalencia del VIH aumentó con el tiempo en ciudades que repitieron el método de muestreo. La prevalencia del VIH entre JHSH superó el 5.0% en más de la mitad de los estudios (51%; N = 22/43). Nuestro análisis corrobora la alta y potencialmente creciente incidencia de VIH entre JHSH y caracteriza el mayor desafío de la región para poner fin a la epidemia.

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All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript. The authors have no financial or proprietary interests in any material discussed in this article.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Lara E. Coelho and Thiago S. Torres performed the literature search and data analysis. Lara E. Coelho, Thiago S. Torres and Emilia M. Jalil drafted the manuscript. Valdilea G. Veloso, Beatriz Grinsztejn, Erin C Wilson, Willi McFarland critically revised and edited the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Lara E. Coelho.

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Coelho, L.E., Torres, T.S., Veloso, V.G. et al. The Prevalence of HIV Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) and Young MSM in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Systematic Review. AIDS Behav (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03180-5

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Keywords

  • HIV prevalence
  • Young men who have sex with men
  • Latin America
  • Caribbean