Victoria González

Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (37)79.57 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to assess the distribution of undiagnosed HIV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Southern and Eastern European countries, to describe the differences in epidemiology and behaviour between undiagnosed, diagnosed HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM and to identify factors associated with undiagnosed HIV infection in the study population.
    European journal of public health. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents a major public health issue. Hepatitis C can be cured by therapy, but many infected individuals are unaware of their status. Effective HCV screening, fast diagnosis and characterization, and hepatic fibrosis staging are highly relevant for controlling transmission, treating infected patients and, consequently, avoiding end-stage liver disease. Exposure to HCV can be determined with high sensitivity and specificity with currently available third generation serology assays. Additionally, the use of point-of-care tests can increase HCV screening opportunities. However, active HCV infection must be confirmed by direct diagnosis methods. Additionally, HCV genotyping is required prior to starting any treatment. Increasingly, high-volume clinical laboratories use different types of automated platforms, which have simplified sample processing, reduced hands-on-time, minimized contamination risks and human error and ensured full traceability of results. Significant advances have also been made in the field of fibrosis stage assessment with the development of non-invasive methods, such as imaging techniques and serum-based tests. However, no single test is currently available that is able to completely replace liver biopsy. This review focuses on approved commercial tools used to diagnose HCV infection and the recommended hepatic fibrosis staging tests.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 04/2014; 20(13):3431-3442. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background This study was carried out to observe the effect of screening in asymptomatic couple members on the Chlamydia trachomatis prevalence.Methods First void urine samples were collected from 105 women and their male sex partners. Women were recruited for screening at sexual health clinical setting (age 16-25 years), and home sampling screening options were used for men.ResultsPCR detected seven positive C. trachomatis samples in women (6.6%) and five in men (4.6%). The concordant infection rate was 33% (3/9) (95% CI 13-182%).Conclusions Routine urine screening of only female partner results in substantial underestimation of the C. trachomatis prevalence, where probably 56% of the couples with at least one partner tested positive would not be unnoticed. Screening both partners compared with women- or men-only screening increases the detection rate of positive couples. Furthermore, the use of alternative screening approaches against clinical setting increases the accessibility to test at risk populations.
    International Journal of STD & AIDS 04/2014; · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe trends in HIV prevalence, sexual risk behaviors and other sexual health indicators in female sex workers (SW) from 2005 to 2011. Cross-sectional studies were conducted biennially among SW recruited in Catalonia (Spain) in the street, flats and clubs (n = 400). In addition to an anonymous questionnaire, oral fluid samples were collected to estimate HIV prevalence. Linear trends in proportions were assessed by the Mantel test. The percentage of SW who used condoms inconsistently with clients (past 6 months) increased from 5.1% in 2005 to 9.9% in 2011 (p = 0.005); this percentage also increased with steady partners (86.2% in 2005 to 94.4% in 2011, p = 0.002). The prevalence of self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STI) increased from 14% in 2005 to 20.6% in 2011 (p = 0.001). The prevalence of HIV held constant over the years (about 2%), being higher in Spanish women (14.7% in 2011). The prevalence of HIV in SW remained stable over the years, being higher in Spanish SW. The increase in unprotected sex and in the prevalence of self-reported STI among SW from 2005 to 2011 highlights a possible relaxation in preventive behaviors in this group. Interventions to reduce the transmission of these infections, as well as unwanted pregnancies, should continue in Catalonia in SW.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 01/2014; · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introducción El algoritmo RITA (recent infection testing algorithm) es utilizado en los sistemas de vigilancia epidemiológica de Salud Pública para estimar la incidencia de infección por VIH-1 en nuestro medio. Objetivos Los objetivos de nuestro estudio fueron: (i) Evaluar la precisión del ensayo de avidez automatizado VITROS® Anti-HIV1+2 assay para la detección cualitativa de anticuerpos frente al VIH-1 y el VIH-2; (ii) Validar la precisión de un ensayo de avidez automatizado para discriminar entre infección reciente y crónica por el VIH-1 utilizando la plataforma VITROS 3600; (iii) Comparar este método con el ensayo BED-CEIA; y (iv) Evaluar la tasa de infecciones crónicas por VIH-1 clasificadas incorrectamente como recientes en los pacientes en tratamiento antirretrovírico combinado y en pacientes con un recuento de CD4 < 200 céls/μL. Resultados El ensayo de avidez de VITROS es altamente reproducible. El análisis de curvas ROC reveló que un valor de punto de corte ≤0,51 con una sensibilidad y especificidad del 86,7% (IC 95%: 72,5-94,5) y del 86,2% (IC 95%: 78-91,8) respectivamente, es óptimo para identificar infecciones recientes por VIH-1. La correlación entre el ensayo de VITROS® avidez y BED-CEIA fue buena (κ = 0,77; IC 95%: 0,67-0,86). La tasa de infecciones crónicas por VIH-1 clasificadas incorrectamente como recientes por el ensayo de avidez fueron del 8,2% en los pacientes con CD4 < 200 céls/μL y del 8,7% en los pacientes en tratamiento antirretrovírico combinado. Conclusiones El ensayo de avidez evaluado es un método fiable para detectar infecciones recientes por VIH-1 y podría ser utilizado dentro de un algoritmo RITA para estimar la incidencia de infección por VIH-1 en la población.
    Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 01/2014; · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To describe trends in HIV prevalence, sexual risk behaviors and other sexual health indicators in female sex workers (SW) from 2005 to 2011. Methods Cross-sectional studies were conducted biennially among SW recruited in Catalonia (Spain) in the street, flats and clubs (n = 400). In addition to an anonymous questionnaire, oral fluid samples were collected to estimate HIV prevalence. Linear trends in proportions were assessed by the Mantel test. Results The percentage of SW who used condoms inconsistently with clients (past 6 months) increased from 5.1% in 2005 to 9.9% in 2011 (p = 0.005); this percentage also increased with steady partners (86.2% in 2005 to 94.4% in 2011, p = 0.002). The prevalence of self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STI) increased from 14% in 2005 to 20.6% in 2011 (p = 0.001). The prevalence of HIV held constant over the years (about 2%), being higher in Spanish women (14.7% in 2011). Discussion The prevalence of HIV in SW remained stable over the years, being higher in Spanish SW. The increase in unprotected sex and in the prevalence of self-reported STI among SW from 2005 to 2011 highlights a possible relaxation in preventive behaviors in this group. Interventions to reduce the transmission of these infections, as well as unwanted pregnancies, should continue in Catalonia in SW.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 01/2014; · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotyping is mandatory for tailoring dose and duration of pegylated interferon-α plus ribavirin treatment and for deciding on triple therapy eligibility. Additionally, subtyping may play a role in helping to select future treatment regimens that include directly-acting antivirals. However, commercial assays for HCV genotyping fail to identify the genotype/subtype in some cases. OBJECTIVE: Our aims were (i) to determine the success rate of the commercial genotyping assay Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II at identifying the genotype and the HCV-1 subtype; and (ii) to phylogenetically characterise the obtained indeterminate results. STUDY DESIGN: HCV genotyping results obtained between 2009 and 2012 in a Spanish reference hospital were reviewed. A total of 896 people were genotyped with the Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II assay. Specimens with an indeterminate result were retrospectively genotyped using the reference method based on the phylogenetic analysis of HCV NS5B sequences. RESULTS: Using the commercially available assay, an indeterminate HCV genotype result was obtained in 20 of 896 patients (2.2%); these corresponded to genotypes 3a, 3k and 4d. Importantly, 8.6% of all cases where genotype 3 was detected were indeterminate. In addition, the HCV-1 subtype was not assigned in 29 of 533 cases (5.4%). CONCLUSIONS: The implementation in the clinical microbiology laboratory of the reference method for HCV genotyping allows indeterminate genotype/subtype results to be interpreted and may lead to the identification of previously uncharacterised subtypes.
    Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 05/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To describe gender differences in injection and sexual risks behaviours, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C (HCV) prevalence among injecting drug users (IDU) in Catalonia, Spain. METHODS: Cross-sectional studies in 2008-2009 (n=748) and 2010-2011 (n=597) in the network of harm reduction centres. Face to face interviews were conducted and oral fluid samples were collected to estimate HIV/HCV prevalence. RESULTS: Female were more likely than male IDU to have had a steady sexual partner (68.2% versus 44.9%), to have had an IDU steady sexual partner (46.6% versus 15.1%) and to have exchanged sex for money or drugs in the last 6 months (25.5% versus 2.3%). There were no gender differences in injecting risk behaviours. HIV prevalence was 38.7% (91/235) in women and 31.5% (347/1103) in men (p=0.031). HIV prevalence among female IDU who reported having exchange sex for money or drugs was 53.3% (32/60). The prevalence of HCV was 67.4% (159/236) and 73.6% (810/1101) in female and male IDU, respectively (p=0.053). After adjustment by immigrant status, age and years of injection, differences among HIV/HCV prevalence by gender were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated differences in sexual risk behaviours between male and female IDU, but failed to find gender differences in injecting risk behaviours. Apart from that, the higher prevalence of HIV among women than among men, together with a lower prevalence of HCV, provides evidence that sexual transmission of HIV is important among female IDU. Additional studies are needed to analyze in-depth these specific risk factors for women in order to develop appropriate prevention and health education programs.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 04/2013; · 1.12 Impact Factor
  • Euro surveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 01/2013; 18(33). · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and high risk factors for acquisition in preventive prisoners in Catalonia. Cross-sectional study of a convenience sample of 478 prisoners aged between 18 and 35 years was analysed using real-time polymerase chain reaction. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect behavioural data. Significant differences were analysed in the descriptive study using Pearson's χ(2). The association between CT and its determinants was analysed using the Mantel-Haenszel test and a multivariate logistic regression model. The overall prevalence of CT was 5.4%. The independent risk factors for infection by CT were as follows: foreign origin, having had concurrent sexual partners, and alcohol consumption. This is the first study performed in prisons of Catalonia that shows the prevalence of CT in young prisoners. The high mobility of young detainees could explain the similarity in prevalence obtained about young people in Catalonia. Systematic monitoring of CT infection in young preventive prisoners is important in order to prevent further problems in themselves and in the general population, since they become a 'bridge population' in sexually transmissible infection spreading.
    Sexual Health 05/2012; 9(2):187-9. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and risks factors for acquiring it among young prisoners in Catalonia. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Cross-sectional study of a convenience sample of 478 inmates aged between 18-35 years analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. We used a standardized questionnaire to collect behavioural data. Significant differences of the descriptive analysis were analyzed using Pearson χ(2) test. We designed a multivariate logistic regression model to explore the risk factors associated with CT. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of CT was 5.4%. Independent risk factors for acquisition were foreign origin (odds ratio [OR] 3.1, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4-9.2) and having concurrent sexual partners (OR 5,2, 95% CI 1.2-22.6). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study in the prisons of Catalonia determining the prevalence of CT. The high mobility of young detainees may explain the similarity in the prevalence observed in the general young population of Catalonia. Regular monitoring of CT infection in young prisoners preventive is important to prevent future problems in themselves and in the general population and reduce the incidence of infection in the population of their area of influence.
    Medicina Clínica 03/2012; · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To estimate the prevalence of direct and indirect syringe sharing among intravenous drug users (IDUs) attending a harm reduction center in Catalonia (Spain) and to identify factors associated with risk behaviors.
    Gaceta Sanitaria - GAC SANIT. 01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Quantification and description of patients recently infected by HIV can provide an accurate estimate of the dynamics of HIV transmission. Between 2006 and 2008 in Catalonia, we estimated the prevalence of recent HIV infection among newly diagnosed cases, described the epidemiological characteristics of the infection according to whether it was recent, long-standing or advanced, and identified factors associated with recent infection. METHODS: A Test for Recent Infection (TRI) was performed in serum samples from patients newly diagnosed with HIV. Two different TRI were used: the Vironostika-LS assay (January 2006-May 2007) and the BED-CEIA CEIA (June 2007 onwards). Samples were obtained within the first 6 months of diagnosis. Patients whose samples tested positive in the TRI were considered recently infected. RESULTS: Of 1125 newly diagnosed patients, 79.9% were men (median age, 35.4 years), 38.7% were born outside Spain, 48.9% were men who have sex with men (MSM) and 10.6% presented other sexually transmitted infections. The overall percentage of recent infection was 23.0%, which increased significantly, from 18.1% in 2006 to 26.2% in 2008. This percentage was higher for patients from South America (27.6%). Factors associated with recent infection were acquiring infection through sexual contact between MSM [odds ratio (OR) 2.0; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1-3.9], compared with acquiring infection through heterosexual relations and being under 30 years of age (OR 5.9; 95% CI 1.9-17.4), compared with being over 50 years of age. CONCLUSION: The highest percentage of recent infection was identified in MSM, suggesting either a higher incidence or a greater frequency of HIV testing. Information regarding testing patterns is necessary to correctly interpret data from recently infected individuals. Systems to monitor the HIV epidemic should include both parameters.
    The European Journal of Public Health 12/2011; · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the prevalence of direct and indirect syringe sharing among intravenous drug users (IDUs) attending a harm reduction center in Catalonia (Spain) and to identify factors associated with risk behaviors. A cross-sectional study was conducted between 2008 and 2009 in harm reduction centers. Behavioral data were collected using anonymous questionnaires administered by trained interviewers. Of the 748 respondents, 31.5% had shared syringes at least once in the previous 6 months and 55.2% reported sharing injection paraphernalia (spoons, water, filters). A higher risk of syringe sharing was found among IDUs who injected daily (OR=1.5), injected cocaine (OR=1.6), had less than half their supply of syringes from a free source (OR=2.5), had an IDU sexual partner (OR=1.8) or who reported indirect sharing (OR=4.1). A higher risk of indirect sharing was found in respondents who had an illegal source of income (OR=1.5), injected daily (OR=1, 5), injected cocaine (OR=1.4), reported sharing syringes (OR=3.9), or who reported a previous overdose (OR=1.5). Despite the widespread use of harm reduction programs in Catalonia, a significant proportion of IDUs continue to practise injection-related risk behaviors. Further reductions in risk behaviors could be achieved by improving access to all sterile injecting equipment, especially among cocaine injectors and IDUs who inject frequently, and by including IDU sexual partners within the current network of harm reduction centers.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 11/2011; 26(1):37-44. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are an important target group for human immunodeficiency virus/sexually transmitted infection (HIV/STI) prevention. This study aimed to estimate their HIV and other STI prevalence, examine their risk behaviors, and evaluate their role as a bridge population in the spread of HIV/STIs. A cross-sectional study was performed among 553 clients recruited in commercial sex sites in the province of Escuintla, Guatemala. They were interviewed and tested for HIV and other STIs. Half of the clients who were approached refused participation. Median age was 28.9 years; 57.7% had a regular partner, of whom, 10.1% had concurrent noncommercial partnerships. Consistent condom use with FSWs and regular partners was 72.5% and 17.1%, respectively. Approximately 18% formed a bridge, and 40.0% a potential bridge. Among those who provided samples (70.5% provided a blood sample and 89.7%, urine sample), prevalence of HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes simplex virus 2 was 1.5%, 1.0%, 0.8%, 5.5%, and 3.4%, respectively. Unprotected sex with FSWs and drug use just before sex were risk factors for having any STI (9.8% of participants). Bridge clients were significantly less educated, more employed, paid lower prices to the FSW just visited, and had a previous STI. There is a relatively high prevalence of HIV in clients compared to national estimates, and a substantial proportion of them act as a bridge for HIV/STI transmission between FSWs and the general population in Escuintla. Given that this is fuelling the current HIV epidemic, preventive interventions addressing this hard-to-reach group are urgently required.
    Sexually transmitted diseases 08/2011; 38(8):735-42. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of transmitted HIV-1 drug resistances (TDR) and HIV-1 subtypes in recently infected patients in Catalonia between 2003 and 2005 and to describe the characteristics of these patients according to the presence or absence of TDR and HIV-1 subtype. After application of the Serological Testing Algorithm for Recent HIV Seroconversion (STARHS), residual aliquots of serum samples from recently infected antiretroviral-naïve individuals were genotyped. FASTA sequences were analyzed using the HIVDB Program. The World Health Organization 2009 List of Mutations for Surveillance of Transmitted HIV-1 Drug Resistant HIV Strains was used to estimate the prevalence of TDR. Of 182 recently infected patients, 14 (7.7%) presented TDR. Seven (3.8%) had genotypic evidence of TDR against non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, 6 (3.3%) against nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, 3 (1.6%) against protease inhibitors (PIs), and only 2 individuals (1.1%) presented TDR against more than one class of drugs. Thirty-five (19.2%) patients were infected with a non-B HIV-1 subtype. This is the first study to estimate the prevalence of TDR in recently infected patients in Catalonia. The results are similar to those of studies performed in other Spanish regions. Correct monitoring of these parameters requires systematic epidemiologic surveillance of transmitted resistance.
    Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 05/2011; 29(7):482-9. · 1.48 Impact Factor
  • Anabel Romero, Elisa Martró, Victoria González, Lurdes Matas
    Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 04/2011; 29(7):553-5. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and sexual risk practices, and to identify factors associated with infection by C. trachomatis/N. gonorrhoeae. Injecting drug users were interviewed at harm reduction centers and biological samples were collected to estimate the prevalence of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae. The prevalence of C. trachomatis was 2.3%, and this was higher among immigrants (3.6%); the prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae was 0.7% (no differences between Spanish-born and immigrants). Respondents aged ≤25 years had a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (OR 3.39), as did women (OR 3.08). Also associated with having an STI were not having registered employment (OR 4.70), injecting drugs daily (OR 4.21), and having unprotected sex with a stable partner (OR 3.37). Although the prevalence of STIs observed is low, scant condom use makes it necessary for prevention programs to include messages related to sexual risk practices, especially among young people and women.
    European Addiction Research 01/2011; 17(5):271-8. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To describe trends in HIV prevalence, in risk behaviors associated with HIV transmission, and in knowledge and attitudes related to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among men who have sex with men (MSM) recruited in Catalonia between 1995 and 2006.
    Gaceta Sanitaria 01/2010; 24(1):40-46. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionThe objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among injection drug users (IDUs) and identify the sociodemographic and behavioral factors in this population associated with these infections.
    Enfermedades Infecciosas Y Microbiologia Clinica - ENFERM INFEC MICROBIOL CLIN. 01/2010; 28(4):236-238.

Publication Stats

182 Citations
79.57 Total Impact Points

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Institutions

  • 2013
    • Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2001–2013
    • Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Badalona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2011
    • Institut Català d'Oncologia
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2009–2011
    • Fundació Privada Sida i Societat
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2001–2009
    • Autonomous University of Barcelona
      • Department of Genetics and Microbiology
      Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2008
    • Centro de Investigación Biomedica En Red del Área de Salud Mental
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain