Background: HIV spread among low-risk populations through heterosexual intercourse is a major public health concern. This study was aimed at describing prevalence and determinants of HIV infection among Italian low-risk subjects seeking their first lifetime HIV test. Patients and Methods: Information collected between January 1990 and December 2000 at a major counseling and testing site in Rome, Italy, was analyzed. Multiple logistic regression odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Results: Among the 14,313 study subjects, 64 (0.4%) were seropositive for HIV infection. HIV seropositivity increased with age (OR = 4.0, 95% CI: 2.1-7.6 for ≥ 40 years vs 18-24), and it seemed to be more common among men (OR = 1.6, lower 95% CI:0.9). There was no evidence of temporal variations, whereas motivations for HIV testing were strongly associated with HIV prevalence. Testing for alarming symptoms (OR = 13.8) or for heterosexual intercourse (OR = 11.0) were associated with a more than 10-fold increased HIV risk. Conclusion: Our findings are consistent with data from other industrialized countries and they show a strong association between HIV seropositivity and reason for first-time testing. Moreover, they indicate a stable trend of HIV prevalence among low-risk persons in the Last decade. Further studies on time trends in low-risk populations would be useful to evaluate current HIV prevention programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)