Late diagnosis, delayed presentation and late presentation in HIV: proposed definitions, methodological considerations and health implications.
ABSTRACT Contemporary literature emphasizes HIV treatment across multiple stages of the care continuum, beginning with HIV testing, followed by linkage and retention in medical care. As a sizeable global population remains undiagnosed or not engaged in medical care, researchers must evaluate the earliest phases of the HIV treatment cascade in order to optimize individual health outcomes and treatment-as-prevention initiatives. Because ambiguity persists for classification of these early stages of HIV care, the aim of this review is to propose a congruous approach to defining the constructs of late diagnosis, delayed presentation and late presentation for HIV medical care, as well as focus attention on methodological considerations and associated clinical and public health implications for these entities.
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ABSTRACT: Despite the known benefits of early treatment initiation for individual morbidity and mortality, as well as for reducing the risk of transmission, late presentation (LP) to HIV/AIDS services remains a major concern in many countries. There is little information on LP from middle- and low-income countries and studies that do evaluate LP commonly disaggregate data by sex. It is rare, however, for researchers to further disaggregate the data by pregnancy status so it remains unclear if pregnancy status modifies the effects associated with sex. The study was conducted at the only State Reference Center for HIV/AIDS in Salvador, Brazil's third largest city. LP was defined as a patient accessing services with a CD4 < 350 cells/mm(3). Data were abstracted from the electronic medical records of 1421 patients presenting between 2007 and 2009. CD4 counts and viral load (VL) information was validated with data from the National CD4/VL Database. Descriptive and bivariate statistics were conducted to inform the multivariate analysis. Adjusted prevalence ratios (APR) were estimated using generalized linear models due to the high frequency of the outcome. Half of the sample (52.5%; n = 621) was classified as LP. Compared to the prevalence among pregnant women (21.1%), the prevalence of LP was more than twice as high among non-pregnant women (56.0%) and among men (55.4%). The multivariate analysis demonstrated no statistical difference between men and nonpregnant women (APR 1.04; 95%CI 0.92-1.19), but the APR of LP for nonpregnant women was 53% less than men (APR 0.47; 95%CI 0.33-0.68). These results highlight the importance of analyzing data disaggregated not only by sex but also by pregnancy status to accurately identify the risk factors associated with LP so that programs and policies can effectively and efficiently address LP in Brazil and beyond.AIDS Care 07/2014; · 1.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Delayed HIV diagnosis among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States continues to be a significant personal and public health issue. Using qualitative and quantitative data from 75 recently tested, HIV-sero-positive MSM (38 delayed and 37 nondelayed testers), the authors sought to further elucidate potential personal and contextual factors that may contribute to delayed HIV diagnosis among MSM. Findings indicate that MSM who experience multiple life stressors, whether personal or contextual, have an increased likelihood of delaying HIV diagnosis. Furthermore, MSM who experience multiple life stressors without the scaffolding of social support, stable mental health, and self-efficacy to engage in protective health behaviors may be particularly vulnerable to delaying diagnosis. Interventions targeting these factors as well as structural interventions targeting physiological and safety concerns are needed to help MSM handle their life stressors more effectively and seek HIV testing in a timelier manner.AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education 04/2014; 26(2):122-33. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In HIV-1 infection, plasma viral load (VL) has dual implications for pathogenesis and public health. Based on well-known patterns of HIV-1 evolution and immune escape, we hypothesized that VL is an evolving quantitative trait that depends heavily on duration of infection (DOI), demographic features, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotypes and viral characteristics. Prospective data from 421 African seroconverters with at least four eligible visits did show relatively steady VL beyond 3 months of untreated infection, but host and viral factors independently associated with cross-sectional and longitudinal VL often varied by analytical approaches and sliding time windows. Specifically, the effects of age, HLA-B⁎53 and infecting HIV-1 subtypes (A1, C and others) on VL were either sporadic or highly sensitive to time windows. These observations were strengthened by the addition of 111 seroconverters with 2–3 eligible VL results, suggesting that DOI should be a critical parameter in epidemiological and clinical studies.Virology 01/2014; 449:254–262. · 3.28 Impact Factor