Article Text

Download PDFPDF
HIV infection among people of foreign origin voluntarily tested in Spain. A comparison with national subjects
  1. The EPI-VIH Study Group
  1. Correspondence to:
 Jesús Castilla, Centro Nacional de Epidemiología, Sinesio Delgado, 6–28029 Madrid, Spain;


Objectives: To describe exposure categories and HIV prevalence among subjects voluntarily tested in Spain by country of origin.

Methods: HIV prevalence and exposure categories were compared between national and non-Spanish subjects voluntarily tested in 18 sexually transmitted disease/HIV testing clinics from 16 Spanish cities in 2000.

Results: Of 8861 testers, 2810 (31.7%) came from foreign countries; 73.1% from Latin America, 9.1% from western Europe, 6.2% from central/eastern Europe, 4.4% from northern Africa, and 4.2% from sub-Sahara Africa. Among women from Latin America, 78% were sex workers compared to 5.5% Spanish women. HIV infection was diagnosed in 170 persons, 34.7% from foreign countries. HIV prevalence for Spanish subjects (23% for men and 1.0% for women) was significantly different from men and women from Latin America (11.3% and 0.3% respectively), Sub-Saharan Africa (9.1% and 7.5% respectively), and women from the north of Africa (11.8%). Compared with Spaniards, analyses of persons of the same exposure category showed higher HIV prevalence in men who had sex with men from Latin America (odds ratio: 4.1; 95% CI: 2.4–6.9), heterosexual men from sub-Sahara Africa (OR: 19.3; 95% CI: 6.4–58.0), and Latin America (OR: 9.4; 95% CI: 3.4–25.9), heterosexual women from sub-Sahara Africa (OR: 16.9; 95% CI: 3.5–82.4) and from northern Africa (OR: 15.3; 95% CI: 3.2–73.2).

Conclusions: An important proportion of HIV testers from these clinics came from foreign countries and some groups showed a high prevalence of HIV infection. Specific prevention and testing programmes adapted to the needs of migrants in Spain should be developed.

  • HIV prevalence
  • migrants
  • HIV testing
  • female sex workers
  • Spain

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • See appendix for complete list of the EPI-VIH Study Group

Linked Articles

  • Brief Encounters
    Mohsen Shahmanesh