Introduction Patients diagnosed with HIV infection late in course of disease are usually more severely immunocompromised and likely to present with co-morbidities like tuberculosis and have short-term mortality.Delay in diagnosis is significant to both disease prognosis at patient level as well as transmission at community level. An early diagnosis provides opportunities of reducing or halting further transmission.Present study was designed to determine proportion of late presenters and those with advanced HIV disease based on CD4 count and correlate same with socio-demographic characteristics of newly diagnosed HIV patients in Southern India.
Methods This observational study was done by extracting data from medical records of all HIV patients who attended ART centre of tertiary care hospital, using a pre tested data extraction sheet. Diagnosis of HIV infection with CD4 count.
Results 475 HIV patients with mean age of 40.9±10.8 years were studied. Median CD4 count at initial presentation was 265 cells/mL.Main mode of transmission was heterosexual.Commonest opportunistic infection was tuberculosis.Total of 312 patients(65.9%) were late presenters and 218 patients(45.99%) had advanced HIV disease. Males, patients of higher age groups and unemployed patients tend to be late presenters.Majority of study population presented at stage I(66%).However, a significant number of patients present with stage IV disease(21.4%).
Conclusion Significant proportion of HIV patients were late presenters and had advanced disease at initial presentation.There was a significant association between gender, age group and occupation with late presentation as well as advanced disease.Health education and awareness generation about importance of early presentation is crucial to decrease mortality in HIV population.
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