Older adults at high risk of HIV infection in China: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Yuan Yuan Wang, Yuan Yang, Chang Chen, Ling Zhang, Chee H. Ng, Gabor S. Ungvari, Xiaohua Douglas Zhang, Yu-Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


There is an increasing prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in older adults in China, but the findings across prevalence studies have been mixed. This is the first meta-analysis of the prevalence of HIV infection and its moderating factors in older adults in China. Two investigators systematically and independently searched both international (PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Sciences and EMBASE) and Chinese (WanFang, CNKI, and CQVIP) databases. HIV infection rates in older adults were analyzed using the random-effects model. Altogether 46 studies were included in the analysis. The pooled prevalence of HIV infection in older adults was 2.1% (95% CI [1.9%-2.3%], I-2 = 99:4%). Subgroup analyses revealed that men who have sex with men (MSM), hospital population samples, publications after 2014, studies conducted in the western region of China, and higher study quality were significantly associated with higher HIV infection rate. This meta-analysis found that the HIV infection prevalence in older adults is significantly higher than the general population in China. Attention should be given to this urgent public health issue, and effective HIV/AIDS preventive, screening and treatment measures are warranted in this population. PROSPERO: CRD42019124286.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9731
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2020

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