Changing epidemiology of HIV in Mumbai: An application of the Asian epidemic model

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: Mumbai is one of the most populous and high HIV prevalence cities in India. It has witnessed substantial changes in HIV-risk behaviors and a decline in HIV prevalence among high-risk groups during the past decade. Aim: To examine the changing pattern in the number of new HIV infections by transmission routes in Mumbai during 2000–2017. Methods: We used the Asian Epidemic Model by dividing the adult population (aged 15 and above) into seven subgroups: brothel-based and non-brothel based female sex workers (FSWs), heterosexual clients of FSWs, men who have sex with men/transgendered people (MSM), injecting drug users (IDUs), general women and general men. The MSM subgroup included homosexual and bisexual men. Results: New HIV infections among adults reduced by 86% during 2000–2010. The highest decline was among FSWs and their heterosexual clients (95%–98%), followed by MSM (82%), general women (77%), IDUs (51%) and general men (42%). Most new HIV infections during 2011-2017 are expected to occur among general women (1666) and general men (977) followed by MSM (715). Bisexual men were estimated to contribute about 14% of the new HIV infections among general women in 2010 and this proportion was estimated to increase to 19% in 2017. Discussion: HIV prevention programs for MSM and the general population need to be strengthened. Ensuring early detection of HIV, and higher levels of consistent condom use by HIV-infected men and women are essential to prevent new HIV infections in future.






Documenting and Disseminating Lessons from Avahan, the India AIDS Initiative