HIV prevalence and undiagnosed infection among a community sample of gay men in Scotland

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007 Jun 1;45(2):224-30. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e318058a01e.


Objective: To examine HIV prevalence among men in gay bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Methods: Self-complete questionnaires and Orasure oral fluid collection kits (OraSure Technologies, Inc., Bethlehem, PA), to collect samples to be tested anonymously for HIV antibodies, were distributed. A total of 1744 men completed questionnaires (66.1% response rate), and 1350 provided samples (51.6% response rate).

Results: HIV prevalence was 4.4% (95% confidence interval: 3.5% to 5.7%). Positivity was associated with older age (mean of 36 years for positive men vs. 32 years for negative men), having 10 or more anal intercourse (AI) partners (12.8% positive vs. 3.4% of men with <10 AI partners, P < 0.05), and self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the previous year (12.3% positive vs. 3.5% of men without STIs in the previous year; P < 0.05). Of the HIV-positive men, 41.7% were undiagnosed. More than half had had a negative HIV test result and perceived themselves to be HIV-negative. Men who had not used a genitourinary medicine clinic or had an STI in the previous year were more likely to be undiagnosed (65.0% and 52.5%, respectively).

Conclusions: This is the first study to assess HIV prevalence among a community sample of gay men in Scotland. There is an urgent need for HIV prevention efforts to address the high level of undiagnosed infection and incorrect assumptions of status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires