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Original article

Late presenters in new HIV diagnoses from an Italian cohort of HIV-infected patients: prevalence and clinical outcome

Antonella d’Arminio Monforte, Alessandro Cozzi-Lepri, Enrico Girardi, Antonella Castagna, Cristina Mussini, Simona Di Giambenedetto, Massimo Galli, Giovanni Cassola, Vincenzo Vullo, Eugenia Quiros-Roldan, Sergio Lo Caputo, Andrea Antinori, for the Icona Foundation Study Group

Corresponding author name: Antonella d’Arminio Monforte
Corresponding author e-mail: antonella.darminio@unimi.it

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2011; 16:1103-1112
doi: 10.3851/IMP1883

Date accepted: 26 February 2011
Date published online: 17 August 2011

Abstract

Background: To study the prevalence, predictors and outcome of late HIV diagnosis in the Icona cohort, according to the new European consensus definition of late diagnosis.

Methods: In this observational cohort study we investigated patients diagnosed with HIV over 3 months preceding enrolment who were defined as diagnosed late if they presented with AIDS or a CD4+ T-cell count ≤350/mm3 (European consensus definition). We estimated the prevalence of late diagnosis, identified factors associated with being diagnosed late and looked at the prognostic value of the European consensus definition of late presentation to predict subsequent clinical progression (new AIDS events or death).

Results: In total, 1,438/2,276 patients (63%) were defined as diagnosed late using the new European Consensus definition. Of these, 387 (16%) were AIDS-presenters. Predictors of being diagnosed late were older age, non-Italian origin, high HIV RNA and unemployment (versus retirement). A total of 293 patients showed clinical progression (3 events/100 person-years of follow-up, 95% CI: 2.7–3.4). Presenting late was strongly associated with a >5-fold increased risk of disease progression.

Conclusions: In our observational setting with free access to care, more than 60% of new HIV diagnoses occurred below the recommended threshold for initiating antiretroviral treatment. Presenting late for care was associated with a high risk of clinical progression.

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