The global north: HIV epidemiology in high-income countries
Purpose of review The epidemiology of HIV epidemics provides the roadmap for prioritization of programmes and serves over time to evaluate broadly the successes and challenges in prevention. The purpose of this review was to summarize recent information about the epidemiology of HIV in high-income countries with concentrated HIV epidemics.
Recent findings Data from 26 countries were organized and analysed, and a systematic review of published literature relating to epidemiology in these countries was conducted. Our major findings illustrated strong patterns in epidemiology by mode of HIV acquisition: in most high-income countries, new HIV diagnoses attributable to male–female sex have been stable or decreasing, whereas new HIV diagnoses attributable to male–male sex have been stable or increasing. Late diagnoses of HIV infection are common. Prevalence of HIV in high-income countries has risen over the past 5 years as death rates have been stable or decreasing. Reports of the epidemiology of HIV among sex workers and transgendered persons are rare.
Summary The epidemiology of HIV in high-income countries in 2013 depicts both the successes and challenges of HIV prevention. The stable to decreasing death rates and stable or declining trends in heterosexual populations are likely attributable, at least in part, to the broader availability of effective treatments for HIV and relatively broad availability of antiretroviral treatment in these countries. However, late diagnoses undermine the individual and public health value of antiretroviral treatment, and epidemics of HIV among MSM remain largely uncontrolled despite broad availability and coverage of treatment.