Estimation of HIV incidence and its trend in three key populations in Iran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In Iran, People Who Inject Drugs (PWID), Female Sex Workers (FSW), and prisoners are the main key populations at risk of HIV infection. This study aimed to evaluate the trend of HIV incidence among PWID, FSW and prisoners as an impact measure of HIV harm reduction and prevention efforts in Iran. Data were obtained from the two rounds of national bio-behavioral surveillance surveys among FSW (2010 (n = 872), 2015 (n = 1339)), PWID (2010 (n = 2417), 2014 (n = 2307)), and prisoners (2009 (n = 4536), 2013 (n = 5390)) through facility-based (FSW and PWID surveys) and cluster sampling (prisoner surveys). Time-at-risk was calculated assuming the age at first sex or drug injection as the beginning of the at-risk period and the age at the time of the interview or date when they received a positive HIV test result as the end of this period, adjusted for interval censoring. HIV incidence among PWID in 2014 was 5.39 (95% CI 4.71, 6.16) per 1,000 person-years (PY), significantly lower than in 2009 (17.07, 95% CI 15.34, 19.34). Similarly, HIV incidence was 1.12 (95% CI 0.77, 1.64) per 1,000 PY among FSW in 2015, a significant drop from 2010 (2.38, 95% CI 1.66, 3.40). Also, HIV incidence decreased among prisoners from 1.34 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.67) in 2009 to 0.49 (95% CI: 0.39, 0.61) per 1,000 PY in 2013. Our findings suggest that after an increase in the 2000s, the HIV incidence may have been decreased and stabilized among key populations in Iran.


  • Hamid Sharifi
  • Ali Mirzazadeh
  • Mostafa Shokoohi
  • Mohammad Karamouzian
  • Razieh Khajehkazemi
  • Soodabeh Navadeh
  • Noushin Fahimfar
  • Ahmad Danesh
  • Mehdi Osooli
  • Willi McFarland
  • Mohammad Mehdi Gouya
  • Ali Akbar Haghdoost
External organisations
  • University of Western Ontario
  • University of British Columbia
  • Tehran University of Medical Sciences
  • Kerman University of Medical Sciences
  • Iran University of Medical Sciences
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Golestan University of Medical Sciences
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0207681
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 29
Publication categoryResearch