Identifying People with Acute HIV Infection: Demographic Features, Risk Factors, and Use of Health Care among Individuals with AHI in North Carolina
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- Hightow-Weidman, L.B., Golin, C.E., Green, K. et al. AIDS Behav (2009) 13: 1075. doi:10.1007/s10461-008-9519-5
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Identifying and counseling individuals with Acute HIV Infection (AHI) offers a critical opportunity to avert preventable HIV transmission, however, opportunities to recognize these individuals may be missed. We surveyed 32 adults diagnosed with AHI during voluntary HIV testing from 1/1/03 to 2/28/05 in publicly funded testing sites in NC to describe their clinical, social, and behavioral characteristics. Eighty-one percent of participants were men; 59% were African American. Seventy-five percent experienced symptoms consistent with acute retroviral syndrome; although 83% sought medical care for these symptoms, only 15% were appropriately diagnosed at that initial medical visit, suggesting opportunities to diagnose these individuals earlier were missed. Eighty-five percent of the men engaged in sex with men. More than 50% of the participants thought they were infected with HIV by a steady partner. This study yields important information to assist in identifying populations at risk for or infected with AHI and designing both primary and secondary prevention interventions.