Objectives: Across Europe, almost a third of individuals infected with HIV do not enter health care until late in the course of their infection. Surveillance to identify the extent to which late presentation occurs remains inadequate across Europe and is further complicated by the lack of a common clinical definition of late presentation. The objective of this article is to present a consensus definition of late presentation of HIV infection.
Methods: Over the past year, two initiatives have moved towards a harmonized definition. In spring 2009, they joined efforts to identify a common definition of what is meant by a 'late-presenting' patient.
Results: Two definitions were agreed upon, as follows. Late presentation: persons presenting for care with a CD4 count below 350 cells/μL or presenting with an AIDS-defining event, regardless of the CD4 cell count. Presentation with advanced HIV disease: persons presenting for care with a CD4 count below 200 cells/μL or presenting with an AIDS-defining event, regardless of the CD4 cell count.
Conclusion: The European Late Presenter Consensus working group believe it would be beneficial if all national health agencies, institutions, and researchers were able to implement this definition (either on its own or alongside their own preferred definition) when reporting surveillance or research data relating to late presentation of HIV infection.
© 2010 British HIV Association.