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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

TEIRA COBO, Ramón et al. Delayed diagnosis of HIV infection in the Spanish VACH cohort (1997-2002). Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.1, pp. 66-69. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112007000100012.

Objective: To study the prevalence of delayed diagnosis of HIV infection and associated factors. Methods: A cross sectional study of patients included in the Spanish VACH cohort who had been diagnosed with HIV infection between 1997 and 2002 was performed. Delayed diagnosis was defined as patients diagnosed with HIV infection and AIDS simultaneously or within the first month after the first positive serologic test, or those with a first CD4+ cell count below 200/ml. The epidemiological characteristics of these patients were compared with those of the remaining patients. Results: Of 2,820 new cases of HIV infection, delayed diagnosis was found in 506 (18%). These patients differed from the remaining patients in their lower mean age and higher HIV viral load, as well as in their distribution by sex (higher proportion of males), occupational status, history of incarceration in prison, and HIV-risk transmission group. The median survival during follow-up was significantly lower among AIDS patients with a delayed diagnosis. Conclusions: Delayed diagnosis remains a cause for concern in our environment, due to its magnitude and its association with mortality. Some epidemiological characteristics provide clues to guide future programs directed at increasing information and improving prevention.

Keywords : HIV infections; AIDS; Diagnostic delay; Sexual transmission; Survival.

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