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.