Human immunodeficiency virus infection among heterosexuals in the northeastern part of Italy

Diego Serraino, Silvia Franceschi, Emanuela Vaccher, Salvatore Guarneri, Umberto Tirelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cross-sectional, seroprevalence study was conducted between 1984 and 1991 to investigate prevalence and risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in heterosexuals in the northeastern part of Italy. Two hundred and eighty-two heterosexuals self-referring for HIV testing (109 men and 173 women), without history of intravenous drug use or of other risk factors for HIV infection, constituted the study group. The overall seroprevalence was 17% (95% confidence interval (Cl): 13-22%), similar in men (18%) and in women (17%), and it tended to increase over time. Age was directly associated with HIV antibody seropositivity in men, and inversely related in women. Fifteen men and 63 women were steady partners of an HIV-positive person. Among them, 33% of men and 27% of women were infected with HIV (odds ratio (OR)=2.8, 95% Cl: 0.7-11.4 in men; OR=3.5, 95% Cl: 1.4-8.6 in women). Men with promiscuous occasional partners had a nearly 3-fold higher risk of infection (95% Cl: 0.8-12.7). Among women, a significantly increased risk emerged among those who reported intravenous drug users among their occasional partners (OR=5.7). Sixty per cent of males and 76% of females never used a condom with occasional partners and 70% of males and 72% of females never used one with steady partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Heterosexuals
  • HIV
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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