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  IAS 2019: Conference on HIV Pathogenesis
Treatment and Prevention
Mexico City
July 21-24 2019
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Young Men Driving Expanding HIV Epidemic in Latin America
  10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019), July 21-24, 2019, Mexico City
Mark Mascolini
Reports of new HIV cases jumped from 7271 in 2013 to 11,945 in 2017 across 11 Latin American countries [1]. Men between 15 and 29 years old drove this surge, accounting for 34.5% of new HIV cases among men in 2013 and 46.7% of new cases in 2017.
HIV incidence--the new-infection rate--has not dropped in Latin America over the past 5 years, remaining stable at about 100,000 new cases yearly. Latin American collaborators conducted this study to improve understanding of changing HIV dynamics across the region.
Researchers gathered data from 42 public and private HIV centers in 11 countries. All centers reported complete data on gender, age, and CD4 count at admission from 2013 through 2017. The analysis excluded people who transferred into a center with existing HIV infection during the study years.
The investigators counted 48,179 new HIV cases from 2013 through 2017, with a steady annual increase from 7271 in 2013, to 8197 in 2014, to 9670 in 2015, to 11,096 in 2016, and to 11,945 in 2017.
HIV incidence has dwindled in Latin American women in these 11 countries. They made up 21.7% of new HIV cases in 2013 and 16.9% in 2017. Among men HIV incidence across those years varied by age group. Year by year from 2013 through 2017, men aged 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60-69 accounted for declining proportions of new cases in men. Men aged 15-29 drove the entire 11-country spurt in HIV incidence, contributing 34.5% of new male cases in 2013, 36.3% in 2014, 40.1% in 2015, 44.2% in 2016, and 46.7% in 2017.
The researchers concluded that "young men are driving the epidemic in the region with close to half of new HIV cases." They called for urgent intensification of prevention strategies in this population, with a focus on stopping unprotected sex.
1. Beltran C, Zitko P, Cassetti I, et al. HIV epidemics to the rise and concentrating in young men in Latin America. 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019), July 21-24, 2019, Mexico City. Abstract LBPEC20. For e-poster: https://programme.ias2019.org//PAGMaterial/eposters/5068.pdf