Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) have become one of the most risky populations for HIV infection in China. Though several cross-sectional sero-prevalence studies have been conducted, the annual HIV incidence remains unknown in this population.
Methods: We applied IgG-capture BED-enzyme immunoassay (BED-CEIA) to define the recent HIV-1 infections among MSM in Beijing in the years 2005 and 2006 and the annual HIV incidence was estimated.
Results: Overall, 1067 MSM samples were collected, including 526 samples in the year 2005 and 541 in 2006. In 2005, of 17 HIV seropositive samples, 7 were identified as recent HIV-1 infections and the estimated HIV infection incidence was 2.9% per year (95% CI, 0.8% - 5.0%). In 2006, of 26 HIV seropositive samples, 9 were identified as recent HIV-1 infections and the estimated annual incidence was 3.6% (95% CI, 1.3% - 5.9%), which was 0.7% higher than that in 2005. Individuals engaging in male group sexual intercourse (5.17% vs 0.87%, P = 0.019) and having receptive anal sexual intercourse more than five times (2.79% vs 0.33%, P = 0.047) in the past 6 months significantly increase the risk of being infected by HIV-1.
Conclusions: A high level of annual HIV-1 infection incidence was observed among MSM in Beijing for the consecutive years 2005 and 2006 with a continuous increasing trend. The rising incidence and related high risk behavior among MSM alarmed the health authorities and calls for more effective intervention strategies among this population.