AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 1075–1083 | Cite as

Identifying People with Acute HIV Infection: Demographic Features, Risk Factors, and Use of Health Care among Individuals with AHI in North Carolina

  • Lisa B. Hightow-WeidmanEmail author
  • Carol E. Golin
  • Kelly Green
  • Eva N. P. Shaw
  • Pia D. M. MacDonald
  • Peter A. Leone
Original Paper


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.


Acute HIV infection (AHI) North Carolina (NC) HIV/AHI screening AHI epidemiology HIV risk factors 



This study was supported by a Developmental Grant from the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa B. Hightow-Weidman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carol E. Golin
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kelly Green
    • 3
  • Eva N. P. Shaw
    • 2
  • Pia D. M. MacDonald
    • 4
  • Peter A. Leone
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Infectious DiseaseUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Health Care and Prevention DivisionUniversity of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Center for AIDS Research Social and Behavioral CoreUniversity of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.HIV-STD Prevention and Care BranchNorth Carolina Division of Public HealthRaleighUSA

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