Objectives: There is evidence that HIV-positive patients are suffering from a greater burden of morbidity as they age due to nonAIDS-related complications. To date it has been difficult to determine what part of this excess risk is due to the health effects of HIV, its treatment or to lifestyle factors common to gay and bisexual men (GBM). We calculated overall and cause-specific hospitalisation rates and risk factors for hospitalisations in HIV-negative and HIV-positive cohorts of GBM and compare these with rates in the general male population. Methods: We conducted a record linkage study, linking two cohorts of HIV-negative (n = 1325) and HIV-positive (n = 557) GBM recruited in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia with the NSW hospital discharge data register. We compared rates of hospitalisation in the two cohorts and risk factors for hospitalisation using random-effects Poisson regression methods. Hospitalisation rates for each cohort were further compared with those in the general male population using indirect standardisation. Results: We observed 2032 hospitalisations in the HIV-negative cohort during 13 016 person-years (PYs) [crude rate: 15.6/100PYs (95% CI: 14.9-16.3)] and 2130 hospitalisations in the HIV-positive cohort during 5571 PYs [crude rate: 38.2/100PYs (95% CI: 36.6-39.9)]. HIV-positive individuals had an increased risk of hospitalisation compared with the HIV-negative individuals [adjusted-IRR: 2.34 (95% CI: 1.91-2.86)] and the general population [SHR: 1.45 (95% CI: 1.33-1.59)]. Hospitalisation rates were lower in the HIV-negative cohort compared with the general population [SHR: 0.72 (95% CI: 0.67-0.78)]. The primary causes of hospitalisation differed between groups. Conclusions: HIV-positive GBM continue to experience excess morbidity compared with HIV-negative GBM men and the general population. HIV-negative GBM had lower morbidity compared with the general male population suggesting that GBM identity does not confer excess risk.
- Cohort studies
- Medical record linkage