HIV incidence among men who have sex with men in mainland China: a systematic review protocol

Wenting Huang, Liming Wang, Mi Guodong, Ryan J. Zahn, Jennifer Taussig, Shenita R. Peterson, Stefan Baral, Renee H. Moore, Xiaojie Huang, Jianhua Hou, Patrick S. Sullivan, Aaron J. Siegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV in China. Globally, younger MSM are at higher risk for incident HIV infections, but there has been substantial variation in the estimates of age-stratified HIV incidence among MSM in mainland China, potentially due to regional differences in the nature of the epidemic. Given the need for quality epidemiological data to meet the global goal of ending new HIV infections by 2030, this systematic review and meta-analysis aims to determine age-stratified HIV incidence in mainland China, including consideration by geographic region and time. Methods: This review will include longitudinal studies, cross-sectional surveys, and surveillance reports among MSM in mainland China that have reported HIV incidence. We will search studies and reports published from January 1, 2003, to April 30, 2020, in both English and Chinese language literature databases. For each study considered, two reviewers will independently screen, determine eligibility, and extract relevant data, with discrepancies resolved by consensus of a third reviewer. The methodological quality of included studies will be assessed by the Quality Assessment Tool for Systematic Reviews of Observational Studies Score (QATSO). We will develop age-stratified estimates of HIV incidence with geographic variations and temporal trends. Heterogeneity will be examined using statistical techniques appropriate to the dataset. For subgroup analyses, we will conduct mixed-effects meta-analysis models. Discussion: This review will contribute to a better understanding of the HIV epidemic among MSM in mainland China by providing age-stratified estimates of HIV incidence with a portrayal of geographic and temporal variations. Findings will reflect epidemic dynamics, informing local and national intervention programs and policies for HIV prevention, and providing estimation data to inform future research among MSM in China. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO ID 154834.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number277
JournalSystematic reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • China
  • Epidemiology
  • HIV
  • Incidence
  • MSM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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