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Recently acquired HIV infections in Spain (2003-2005). Introduction of the serological testing algorithm for recent HIV seroconversion.
  1. Anabel Romero (arm.ceescat.germanstrias{at}gencat.net)
  1. CEEISCAT, Spain
    1. Victoria González
    1. Hosp.Univ.Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain
      1. Meritxell Granell
      1. CEEISCAT, Spain
        1. Lurdes Matas
        1. Hosp.Univ.Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain
          1. Anna Esteve
          1. CEEISCAT, Spain
            1. Elisa Martró
            1. Hosp.Univ.Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain
              1. Isabel Rodrigo
              1. Laboratori Clínic Manso, Barcelona, Spain
                1. Tomàs Pumarola
                1. Hospital Clínic - IDIBAPS. University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
                  1. José M Miró
                  1. Hospital Clínic - IDIBAPS. University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
                    1. Aurora Casanova
                    1. Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge - IDIBELL, l-Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
                      1. Elena Ferrer
                      1. Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge - IDIBELL, l-Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
                        1. Cristina Tural
                        1. Hosp.Univ.Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain
                          1. Jorge del Romero
                          1. Centro Sanitario Sandoval, Madrid, Spain
                            1. Carmen Rodríguez
                            1. Centro Sanitario Sandoval, Madrid, Spain
                              1. Estrella Caballero
                              1. Hospital Universitari Vall Hebron, Spain
                                1. Esteve Ribera
                                1. Hospital Universitari Vall Hebron, Spain
                                  1. Jordi Casabona (jcb.ceescat.germanstrias{at}gencat.cat)
                                  1. CEEISCAT, Spain
                                    1. AERIVIH Study Group
                                    1. Standardized Algorithm for Recent HIV Infections (AERIVIH) study group, Spain

                                      Abstract

                                      BACKGROUND: The description of recent HIV infections provides information about the current pattern of HIV transmission and, consequently, can help to design better preventive interventions. Our study shows the first implementation in Spain of the Serologic Testing Algorithm for Recent HIV Seroconversion (STARHS) strategy. We assess the viability of introducing STARHS in our setting and describe the frequency and epidemiological characteristics of recent infections (RIs).

                                      METHODS: Between 2003 and 2005, HIV-positive blood samples drawn for diagnostic purposes were collected from 28 Spanish laboratories to be tested using STARHS. Samples from patients with a previous HIV diagnosis, age below 18 years, less than 200 CD4 cells/µL, or clinical AIDS criteria were excluded from the analysis.

                                      RESULTS: A total of 660 (19.2%) samples were classified as RI. Most persons identified with RI were male (79.8%) with a median age of 33.1 years, and 62.5% occurred among men who have sex with men (MSM). Immigrants made up 26.5% of individuals identified with RI, with 48.7% coming from South America. Among the individuals with RI, at least 16.5% had reported another sexually transmitted infection (STI) during the year before the HIV diagnosis.

                                      CONCLUSION: The study shows that the implementation of STARHS in our setting is feasible and has highlighted important features of the local HIV epidemic, such as the ongoing spread of HIV among MSM, the potential role of STIs in RIs, and the vulnerability of immigrants as a new target population.

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