Sigma Research

A systematic review of evidence to inform HIV prevention interventions among men who have sex with men in Europe

Eurosurveillance, 2015, 20(15):pii=21096.

Authors: Susanne Strömdahl, Ford Hickson, A Pharris, M Sabido, S Baral, A Thorson


An estimated 42% of all newly diagnosed HIV cases in Europe in 2013 were transmitted during sex between men. This review was performed to identify and describe studies evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions among men who have sex with men (MSM), in relation to implementation data from European settings. A systematic search was performed individually for 24 interventions. Data were extracted from studies including efficacy or implementation data from European settings, appraised for efficacy, implementation and plausibility, and assigned a grade (1-4) according to the Highest Attainable Standard of Evidence (HASTE) framework. Four interventions (condom use, peer outreach, peer-led groups, and using universal coverage of antiretroviral treatment and treatment as prevention) were assigned the highest HASTE grade, 1. Another four interventions were assigned 2a for probable recommendation, including voluntary counselling and testing for HIV, using condom-compatible lubricant, using post-exposure prophylaxis, and individual counselling for MSM living with HIV. In addition, seven interventions were assigned a grade of 2b, for possible recommendation. Encouragingly, 15 interventions were graded to be strongly, probably or possibly recommended. In the relatively resource-rich European setting, there is an opportunity to provide global leadership with regard to the regional scale-up of comprehensive HIV prevention interventions for MSM.

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