Molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 infection among men who have sex with men in Taiwan from 2013 to 2015

Wei You Li, Marcelo Chen, Szu Wei Huang, I. An Jen, Sheng Fan Wang, Jyh Yuan Yang, Yen Hsu Chen, Yi Ming Arthur Chen

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Men who have sex with men (MSM) is the major risk population of HIV-1 infection in Taiwan, and its surveillance has become critical in HIV-1 prevention. We recruited MSM subjects from 17 high-risk venues and 4 community centers in northern and southern Taiwan for anonymous HIV-1 screening during 2013–2015. Blood samples were obtained for genotyping and phylogenetic analysis, and a questionnaire survey covering demographic variables and social behavior was conducted. In total, 4,675 subjects were enrolled, yielding a HIV-1 prevalence rate of 4.3% (201/4675). Eight risk factors including subjects who did not always use condoms (OR = 1.509, p = 0.0123), those who used oil-based lubricants (OR = 1.413, p = 0.0409), and those who used recreational drugs (OR = 2.182, p = < .0001) had a higher risk of HIV-1 infection. The annual prevalence and incidence of HIV-1 showed a downward trend from 2013 to 2015 (6.56%, 5.97 per 100 person-years in 2013; 4.53%, 3.97 per 100 person-years in 2014; 1.84%, 2.08 per 100 person-years in 2015). Factors such as always using condoms, water-based lubricant use, correct knowledge of lubricating substitutes, and recreational drug use were significantly associated with the trend of incidence. Phylogenetic tree analysis showed that the cross-regional and international interaction of the local MSM population may have facilitated transmission of HIV. This survey of high-risk venues showed decreased prevalence and incidence of HIV-1 infection in Taiwan from 2013 to 2015, and this may be related to changes in behavioral patterns. Moreover, cross-regional interaction and recreational drug use need to be considered in future surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0202622
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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