Open Access Research article

Prospective cohort study of HIV incidence and molecular characteristics of HIV among men who have sex with men(MSM) in Yunnan Province, China

Junjie Xu1, Minghui An1, Xiaoxu Han1, Manhong Jia2, Yanling Ma2, Min Zhang1, Qinghai Hu1, Zhenxing Chu1, Jing Zhang1, Yongjun Jiang1, Wenqing Geng1, Lin Lu2* and Hong Shang1*

Author Affiliations

1 From Key Laboratory of AIDS Immunology of Ministry of Health, Department of Laboratory Medicine, No.1 Hospital of China Medical University, Nanjing north street 155#, Heping district, Shenyang 110001, China

2 From Yunnan Center for Disease Control and Prevention Kunming, Yunnan, China

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-3

Published: 4 January 2013



Yunnan has the largest number of reported HIV/AIDS cases among all Chinese provinces, the reported prevalence of HIV among Yunnan men who have sex with men (MSM) passed 10%, while HIV incidence epidemic and molecular characteristics of new infected Yunnan MSM were not evaluated before.


An 18 months prospective followed up with a frequency of 3 month per visit were conducted among HIV seronegative MSM in Kunming cityduring 2009–2011. Interviewer-administrated questionnaires were carried out. Blood specimens were obtained to test for syphilis and HIV, in which HIV were evaluated by standard HIV enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and HIV nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). Near full-length regions of the HIV-1 were evaluated for subtyping, primary drug resistance mutations.


During the follow-up 70.1% of the recruited 378 MSM retained in the cohort. Eleven MSM seroconverted to HIV and fifteen MSM seroconverted to syphilis. The HIV incidence and syphilis incidence was 3.5 (95% CI 1.8-6.2) cases /100 person year(PY) and 5.3 (95% CI 3.0-8.7) cases/100 PY, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that baseline syphilis infection (aHR, 17.7), occupation (students vs. others [aHR, 5.7], retirees vs. others [aHR, 4.1]), bleeding experience after receptive anal intercourse (aHR,7.6), and minority ethnic(vs. Han) [aHR, 5.7] were independent risk factors for HIV seroconversion(each P<0.05). Among the 7/11 successfully amplified near full-length sequences, 71.4% (5/7) were CRF01_AE, and 28.6% (2/7) were CRF07_BC. Two HIV transmission pairs were detected among seroconverted minority ethnic MSM.


HIV incidence was moderately high among Yunnan MSM. Yunnan province need to strengthen both HIV and syphilis screening among MSM population. Some subpopulations of MSM, such as students, retirees and minority ethnic groups require more HIV epidemic surveillance and strengthened behavior interventions. HIV subtypes and primary drug resistance should be continually monitored to track cross-group transmission of HIV strains.

Men who have sex with men (MSM); HIV; Incidence; Prospective cohort study; HIV subtypes; Molecular characteristics