HIV co-infection with STIs among MSM in Tijuana, Mexico

Funding Source: University of California, San Diego Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)

Gudelia Rangel and Heather Pines 

Globally, Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), and syphilis are among the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). HIV co-infection with these STIs is common and may play an important role in driving HIV transmission. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at substantial risk of HIV/STIs worldwide, including those in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). In Tijuana, Mexico, the prevalence of HIV among MSM is high at ~20%. Elevated rates of sexual and substance use behaviors associated with HIV/STIs have also been documented within this population suggesting that STI control strategies could significantly reduce the spread of HIV among MSM in this setting.
The overall goal of the co-infections among MSM project (CAMP) is to determine the potential impact of HIV co-infection with STIs on HIV transmission dynamics among MSM in Tijuana. CAMP is embedded in two ongoing studies among MSM in Tijuana (Enlaces or Links [R01DA037811; PI: Patterson] and Redes or Networks [K01DA040543; PI: Pines]). CAMP aims to enroll approximately 600 MSM (~300 newly diagnosed HIV-positive and ~300 HIV-negative) to determine: (1) the prevalence of CT, NG, and syphilis, as well as HIV co-infection with these STIs and (2) whether HIV co-infection with STIs is associated with HIV transmission network characteristics among MSM in Tijuana. Findings will inform future work evaluating the impact of STI control strategies designed to interrupt HIV transmission among MSM in Tijuana, which may be applicable to MSM populations in other similar LMIC.