AIDS and Behavior

, 13:1046 | Cite as

Lack of Understanding of Acute HIV Infection among Newly-Infected Persons—Implications for Prevention and Public Health: The NIMH Multisite Acute HIV Infection Study: II

  • Robert H. Remien
  • Jenny A. Higgins
  • Jackie Correale
  • Jose Bauermeister
  • Robert Dubrow
  • Mark Bradley
  • Wayne T. Steward
  • David W. Seal
  • Kathleen J. Sikkema
  • Peter R. Kerndt
  • Kenneth H. Mayer
  • Hong-Ha M. Truong
  • Corinna Young Casey
  • Anke A. Ehrhardt
  • Stephen F. Morin
Original Paper

Abstract

Acute/early HIV infection is a period of high HIV transmission. Consequently, early detection of HIV infection and targeted HIV prevention could prevent a significant proportion of new transmissions. As part of an NIMH-funded multisite study, we used in-depth interviews to explore understandings of acute HIV infection (AHI) among 34 individuals diagnosed with acute/early HIV infection in six US cities. We found a marked lack of awareness of AHI-related acute retroviral symptoms and a lack of clarity about AHI testing methods. Most participants knew little about the meaning and/or consequences of AHI, particularly that it is a period of elevated infectiousness. Over time and after the acute stage of infection, many participants acquired understanding of AHI from varied sources, including the Internet, HIV-infected friends, and health clinic employees. There is a need to promote targeted education about AHI to reduce the rapid spread of HIV associated with acute/early infection within communities at risk for HIV.

Keywords

HIV/AIDS Awareness Acute HIV HIV prevention 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Primary funding for this study was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health as supplements to the following AIDS Research Centers: P30MH062246, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California San Francisco; P30MH043520, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University; P30MH062512, HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center, University of California San Diego; P30MH052776, Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Medical College of Wisconsin; P30MH058107, Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services, University of California Los Angeles; and P30MH062294, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University. Additional funding was provided by: P30AI42853, Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research and AI43638, Acute Infection and Early Disease Research Program, University of California San Diego. Complete details about funding, the study Steering Committee, co-investigators, collaborating scientists, and project staff are presented in the first paper of this series (Kerndt et al. 2009).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. Remien
    • 1
  • Jenny A. Higgins
    • 1
  • Jackie Correale
    • 1
  • Jose Bauermeister
    • 1
  • Robert Dubrow
    • 2
  • Mark Bradley
    • 1
  • Wayne T. Steward
    • 3
  • David W. Seal
    • 4
  • Kathleen J. Sikkema
    • 5
  • Peter R. Kerndt
    • 6
  • Kenneth H. Mayer
    • 7
  • Hong-Ha M. Truong
    • 3
  • Corinna Young Casey
    • 8
  • Anke A. Ehrhardt
    • 1
  • Stephen F. Morin
    • 3
  1. 1.HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric InstituteColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDSYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Center for AIDS Prevention StudiesUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Center for AIDS Intervention ResearchMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  5. 5.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  6. 6.Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Sexually Transmitted Disease ProgramLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.Brown University/The Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA
  8. 8.HIV Neurobehavioral Research CenterUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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