HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Background: The need for informed policymaking highlights the importance of data on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence on key populations. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to provide an overview of HIV prevalence in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Iran. Methods: We searched literature published between January 2008 and December 2019 to identify studies reporting the prevalence of HIV infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in a population of adult Iranian men with history of sexual contact with other men. We employed Metaprop command in Stata to pool proportions from different studies. Results: Among the 16 studies retrieved, 2 were performed on MSM population directly, 7 among people who inject drugs, 4 among prisoners, 2 among the homeless, and 1 among methamphetamine users. HIV prevalence was 7% (95% CI, 5%–10%) based on the meta-analysis, although noticeable heterogeneity existed because of target population, study year, and study location, which imposed limitations to provide a robust summary measure for the prevalence of HIV. Conclusion: There is a potential risk of observing a high prevalence of HIV in MSM that could hamper the results of various preventive strategies and their achievements in other subpopulations.


Ghalichi L, Naserbakht M, Eftekhar Ardebili M, Janani L, Pournik O, Tavakoli F, Haghdoost AA, Sharifi H




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV+ population


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