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      “Late for testing, early for antiretroviral therapy, less likely to die”: results from a large HIV cohort study in China, 2006–2014

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          Timely HIV testing and initiation of antiretroviral therapy are two major determinants of survival for HIV-infected individuals. Our study aimed to explore the trend of late HIV/AIDS diagnoses and to assess the factors associated with these late diagnoses in China between 2006 and 2014.


          We used data from the Chinese Comprehensive Response Information Management System of HIV/AIDS (CRIMS). All individuals who tested positive for HIV between 2006 and 2014 in China and were at least 15 years of age were included. A late diagnosis was defined as an instance in which an individual was diagnosed as having AIDS or WHO stage 3 or 4 HIV/AIDS, or had a CD4 cell count less than 200 cells/mm 3 at the time of diagnosis.


          Among the 528,234 individuals (≥15 years old) newly diagnosed with HIV between 2006 and 2014, 179,700 (34.0%) people were considered to have received late diagnoses. The late diagnosis rate decreased from 33.9% in 2006 to 29.7% in 2014 ( P < 0.01). Late diagnoses were more likely to be found among those who were 45–54 years old (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 3.25, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.17–3.34) or 55+ years old (OR: 2.94, 95% CI: 2.86–3.02), male (aOR: 1.15, 95% CI: 1.13,1.17), employed as a farmer or rural laborer (aOR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.11–1.14), infected through blood or plasma transfusion (aOR: 4.18, 95% CI: 4.02, 4.35), diagnosed at hospitals (OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.19), of Han ethnicity (aOR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.28, 1.32), and married (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.11,1.13). Of those people living with HIV (PLHIV) who received late diagnoses, 7.4%(8637) and 46.1%(28,462) ultimately died with or without receiving antiretroviral therapy within a year of diagnosis, respectively.


          A large proportion of individuals with HIV/AIDS receive late diagnoses, and this proportion has witnessed a slight decline in recent years. Expanded testing is needed to increase early HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral therapy should be recommended to all diagnosed individuals as early as possible to reduce AIDS-related death.

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          Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings.

          These recommendations for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing are intended for all health-care providers in the public and private sectors, including those working in hospital emergency departments, urgent care clinics, inpatient services, substance abuse treatment clinics, public health clinics, community clinics, correctional health-care facilities, and primary care settings. The recommendations address HIV testing in health-care settings only. They do not modify existing guidelines concerning HIV counseling, testing, and referral for persons at high risk for HIV who seek or receive HIV testing in nonclinical settings (e.g., community-based organizations, outreach settings, or mobile vans). The objectives of these recommendations are to increase HIV screening of patients, including pregnant women, in health-care settings; foster earlier detection of HIV infection; identify and counsel persons with unrecognized HIV infection and link them to clinical and prevention services; and further reduce perinatal transmission of HIV in the United States. These revised recommendations update previous recommendations for HIV testing in health-care settings and for screening of pregnant women (CDC. Recommendations for HIV testing services for inpatients and outpatients in acute-care hospital settings. MMWR 1993;42[No. RR-2]:1-10; CDC. Revised guidelines for HIV counseling, testing, and referral. MMWR 2001;50[No. RR-19]:1-62; and CDC. Revised recommendations for HIV screening of pregnant women. MMWR 2001;50[No. RR-19]:63-85). Major revisions from previously published guidelines are as follows: For patients in all health-care settings HIV screening is recommended for patients in all health-care settings after the patient is notified that testing will be performed unless the patient declines (opt-out screening). Persons at high risk for HIV infection should be screened for HIV at least annually. Separate written consent for HIV testing should not be required; general consent for medical care should be considered sufficient to encompass consent for HIV testing. Prevention counseling should not be required with HIV diagnostic testing or as part of HIV screening programs in health-care settings. For pregnant women HIV screening should be included in the routine panel of prenatal screening tests for all pregnant women. HIV screening is recommended after the patient is notified that testing will be performed unless the patient declines (opt-out screening). Separate written consent for HIV testing should not be required; general consent for medical care should be considered sufficient to encompass consent for HIV testing. Repeat screening in the third trimester is recommended in certain jurisdictions with elevated rates of HIV infection among pregnant women.
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            Late diagnosis of HIV infection: epidemiological features, consequences and strategies to encourage earlier testing.

            A substantial proportion of HIV-infected individuals do not present for HIV testing until late in infection; these individuals are often ill, have a high mortality risk, and are less likely to respond to treatment when initiated. Furthermore, late presentation means that opportunities to reduce onward transmission, either by reducing high-risk behaviours or by reducing an individual's infectivity, are missed. The proportion of HIV-infected individuals who present late has remained relatively stable over the past decade, despite several attempts to encourage earlier diagnosis. Late presenters tend to be those at lower perceived risk of infection, those who are not routinely offered HIV testing, and are often from marginalized groups. Strategies that encourage earlier testing, including routine HIV testing in healthcare settings where high-risk individuals attend frequently, the availability of HIV testing services in non-medical settings, and partner notification schemes or peer-led projects to encourage high-risk individuals to attend for testing, may all increase the proportion of HIV-infected individuals who are aware of their HIV status, thus helping to control the spread of the epidemic. This review summarizes recent evidence on the epidemiology of late presentation and its impact on clinical progression, and describes several key strategies that may encourage earlier diagnosis.
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              Treatment for adult HIV infection: 2006 recommendations of the International AIDS Society-USA panel.

              Guidelines for antiretroviral therapy are important for clinicians worldwide given the complexity of the field and the varied clinical situations in which these agents are used. The International AIDS Society-USA panel has updated its recommendations as warranted by new developments in the field. To provide physicians and other human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinicians with current recommendations for the use of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected adults in circumstances for which there is relatively unrestricted access to drugs and monitoring tools. The recommendations are centered on 4 key issues: when to start antiretroviral therapy; what to start; when to change; and what to change. Antiretroviral therapy in special circumstances is also described. A 16-member noncompensated panel was appointed, based on expertise in HIV research and patient care internationally. Data published or presented at selected scientific conferences from mid 2004 through May 2006 were identified and reviewed by all members of the panel. Data that might change previous guidelines were identified and reviewed. New guidelines were drafted by a writing committee and reviewed by the entire panel. Antiretroviral therapy in adults continues to evolve rapidly, making delivery of state-of-the-art care challenging. Initiation of therapy continues to be recommended in all symptomatic persons and in asymptomatic persons after the CD4 cell count falls below 350/microL and before it declines to 200/microL. A nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or a protease inhibitor boosted with low-dose ritonavir each combined with 2 nucleoside (or nucleotide) reverse transcriptase inhibitors is recommended with choice being based on the individual patient profile. Therapy should be changed when toxicity or intolerance mandate it or when treatment failure is documented. The virologic target for patients with treatment failure is now a plasma HIV-1 RNA level below 50 copies/mL. Adherence to antiretroviral therapy in the short-term and the long-term is crucial for treatment success and must be continually reinforced.

                Author and article information

                BMC Infect Dis
                BMC Infect. Dis
                BMC Infectious Diseases
                BioMed Central (London )
                13 June 2018
                13 June 2018
                : 18
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8803 2373, GRID grid.198530.6, National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ; Beijing, China
                [2 ]University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Project-China, Guangzhou, China
                [3 ]ISNI 0000000122483208, GRID grid.10698.36, School of Medicine, , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ; Chapel Hill, USA
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (CN)
                Award ID: 131-11-0001-0501
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2018

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

                late diagnosis, early mortality, art, china


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