Purpose: To describe and contextualize changes in rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) notifications in men who have sex with men (MSM) in eight countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States) from 1996-2005.
Methods: We analyzed trends in HIV notification rates from 1996-2000 and 2000-2005 by generalized linear regression and estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) in rates of HIV notifications. To interpret trends, we visually examined graphs of primary and secondary syphilis reports among MSM and the prevalence of recent HIV testing.
Results: The rate of HIV notifications among MSM declined 5.2% per year (95% confidence interval [CI]: -5.8%, -4.7%) from 1996-2000, and increased 3.3% per year (95% CI: +2.9%,+3.7%) from 2000-2005. During the period of increasing HIV diagnoses, increases in primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses occurred among MSM, but recent HIV testing among MSM did not seem to increase.
Conclusions: After declining in the second half of the 1990s, HIV notification rates for MSM increased beginning in 2000. Increased HIV notifications in MSM are not wholly explained by changes in HIV testing. Urgent efforts are required to develop effective HIV prevention interventions for MSM, and implement them broadly in these countries.