Objectives. This study sought to describe the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) surveillance system in Lazio, Italy, and to analyze exposure patterns and time trends of HIV serodiagnoses from January 1985 to December 1994. Methods. A linkage procedure made it possible to identify newly diagnosed HIV cases. Anonymous information was collected on demographic and exposure factors for each individual. Results. Of 35 425 reports, 13 660 were newly diagnosed HIV cases, 70.9% of them in men. The proportion of women increased at the beginning of the study period (the male:female ratio declined from 3.5 in 1985 to 2.6 in 1986) and then remained stable. The proportion of subjects reporting heterosexual exposure, in men and women, respectively, increased from 1.5% and 2.0% in 1985 to 21.2% and 60.8% in 1994. Starting in 1992, heterosexual contact has become the main transmission mote for women. Conclusions. A changing pattern in the HIV epidemic is emerging, with a shift in the incidence of HIV diagnosis from 'core' high- risk groups (drag injectors) to the large low-risk population (the general population) exposed through heterosexual transmission. This is probably occurring in other areas (e.g., large urban centers in the United States) with a similar epidemiological situation.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||American Journal of Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health