Research Article: Are HIV Epidemics among Men Who Have Sex with Men Emerging in the Middle East and North Africa?: A Systematic Review and Data Synthesis

Date Published: August 2, 2011

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Ghina Mumtaz, Nahla Hilmi, Willi McFarland, Rachel L. Kaplan, Francisca Ayodeji Akala, Iris Semini, Gabriele Riedner, Oussama Tawil, David Wilson, Laith J. Abu-Raddad, David D. Celentano

Abstract: A systematic review by Laith Abu-Raddad and colleagues collates and analyzes the epidemiology of HIV among men who have sex with men in Middle Eastern and North African countries.

Partial Text: Male-to-male sexual contact is one of the leading modes of HIV transmission [1]–[3]. While the global prevalence of HIV has stabilized [1], there seems to be a trend of increasing HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM), and recent reports indicate new, newly identified, and resurging HIV epidemics among MSM in different parts of the world [2]–[3]. In North America, MSM transmission continues as the leading contributor to the HIV epidemic, with studies indicating resurgent epidemics among at least some MSM populations [4]. In sub-Saharan Africa, recent studies are unveiling hidden HIV epidemics among MSM [1]–[2],[5]–[7]. Emerging and growing HIV epidemics among MSM have been recently identified in several countries in East, Southeast, and South Asia, as well as in Latin America [1]–[2],[8]. In several countries in East Asia, male-to-male sex has become the dominant mode of transmission among newly diagnosed infections [2].

The study selection process, described in Figure 1, was adapted from PRISMA 2009 flow diagram [33]. Out of a total of 118 records retrieved through PubMed and 85 records retrieved through Embase for the specific MSM in MENA searches, 23 publications were selected as relevant for the present article. Only three relevant documents were not covered by the PubMed and Embase searches and were identified out of the 78 records retrieved through the search of the three regional databases (AIM, IMEMR, and STEB). The remaining relevant documents were identified through the extensive and multi-source data search of the Synthesis Project. These include: 15 publications identified through the HIV in MENA generic search of PubMed, three international organization reports, 43 country-level reports, in addition to eight other miscellaneous documents that were included in the present article.



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