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Acute presentations of HIV are still missed in low prevalence areas

Ratcliffe, L., Thomas, S., Beeching, Nicholas ORCID:, Phillips-Howard, P.A. and Taegtmeyer, Miriam ORCID: (2011) 'Acute presentations of HIV are still missed in low prevalence areas'. Postgraduate Medical Journal, Vol 87, p. 170.

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To evaluate missed opportunities and delays in the diagnosis of HIV in a low prevalence setting over a 24 year period.
Patients with acute presentations of HIV were included in a retrospective note based review. Data were compared from acute presentations in 1985e2001 (88/241 new patients) with 2005e2007 (99/136 new patients). The number of recorded clinical and laboratory clues to infection and subsequent time delays to diagnosis of HIV were evaluated.
The findings reflect the shifting demographics of HIV in the UK over the past two decades, exemplified by an eightfold increase in tuberculosis at presentation.
Despite recording clinical stigmata of HIV (clues) in the
notes, the number of missed clues increased, and many clinicians failed to request HIV testing. The median
delay between presentation and diagnosis reduced from 5 to 1 day (p<0.001), and mortality dropped from 14% to 4% among patients presenting with acute symptoms. However, there was still a delay of more than 30 days before diagnosis for almost one in five patients.
Despite some improvement and better awareness, there are still significant delays before hospital doctors consider the diagnosis of HIV for patients in low prevalence areas, even among some patient groups with high risk. Hospitals should consider moving to opt-out routine HIV testing of all medical admissions

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The original version of the article is available at:
Subjects: WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.1 Diagnosis
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Clinical Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Users 43 not found.
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2011 13:55
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 10:51


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