Share this article on:

High HIV incidence and prevalence and associated factors among young MSM, 2008

Balaji, Alexandra B.; Bowles, Kristina E.; Le, Binh C.; Paz-Bailey, Gabriela; Oster, Alexandra M.; for the NHBS Study Group

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835ad489
Epidemiology and Social

Objective: To estimate HIV prevalence, annual HIV incidence density, and factors associated with HIV infection among young MSM in the United States.

Design: The 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS), a cross-sectional survey conducted in 21 US cities.

Methods: NHBS respondents included in the analysis were MSM aged 18–24 with a valid HIV test who reported at least one male sex partner in the past year. We calculated HIV prevalence and estimated annual incidence density (number of HIV infections/total number of person-years at risk). Generalized estimating equations were used to determine factors associated with testing positive for HIV.

Results: Of 1889 young MSM, 198 (10%) had a positive HIV test; of these, 136 (69%) did not report previously testing HIV positive when interviewed. Estimated annual HIV incidence density was 2.9%; incidence was highest for blacks. Among young MSM who did not report being HIV infected, factors associated with testing HIV positive included black race; less than high school education; using both alcohol and drugs before or during last sex; having an HIV test more than 12 months ago; and reporting a visit to a medical provider in the past year.

Conclusion: HIV prevalence and estimated incidence density for young MSM were high. Individual risk behaviors did not fully explain HIV risk, emphasizing the need to address sociodemographic and structural-level factors in public health interventions targeted toward young MSM.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Correspondence to Alexandra Balaji, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, N.E., MS E-46, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. Tel: +1 404 639 4336; fax: +1 404 639 8640; e-mail:

Received 12 June, 2012

Revised 11 September, 2012

Accepted 27 September, 2012

Data presented previously at the 2012 CROI meeting and published as abstract on the following website:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.