HIV infection in dialysis centers in Italy: A nationwide multicenter study

Giovanni Barbiano Di Belgiojoso, Matteo Trezzi, Daniele Scorza, Maria Teresa Barone, Nicoletta Landriani, Augusto Genderini, Silvio Bertoli

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The prevalence of HIV infection in dialysis populations varies according to different countries and geographic areas. We performed a nationwide epidemiological study by means of a questionnaire in the period from January 1990 to December 1995. Questions were about whether and which HIV tests were performed and which preventive measures were adopted. A separate survey evaluated the data the HIV-positive patients. Only 62% of the centers responded to the questionnaire, corresponding to 21,500 dialysis patients in 1990 and 27,000 in 1995. The prevalence of HIV-positive subjects was 0,13% for 1995. A total of 48 patients with HIV infection were identified: risk factors were drug abuse in 16 cases, homosexuality in 9, heterosexual contact in 8, transfusion in 7, renal transplant in 3 and unknown cause in 5. Forty- five patients were on hemodialysis, and S were receiving peritoneal dialysis. At follow-up, 19 patients died: infection and malnutrition were the most frequent causes of death. The death rate of patients who were already HIV positive when dialysis was started (group 1, 29 cases) was 19.36 deaths/1,000 patient/month. The correlations, performed only for group 1, showed a significantly worse prognosis for patients with CD4 <200/mm 3 and for those with AIDS. In conclusion, in Italy the prevalence of HIV infection in the dialysis population is low, and the outcome of HIV-positive patients in dialysis was found to be better than earlier literature reports. The use of chronic dialysis for HIV patients with uremia should not be discouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998


  • Epidemiology of AIDS in dialysis
  • HIV infection in dialysis
  • HIV nephropathy evolution
  • Renal failure in HIV patients
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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