Background: In France, 1/3 HIV-infected patients is diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease. We describe missed opportunities for earlier HIV testing in newly-HIV-diagnosed patients.
Methods: Cross sectional study. Adults living in France for ≥1 year, diagnosed with HIV-infection ≤6 months earlier, were included from 06/2009 to 10/2010. We collected information on patient characteristics at diagnosis, history of HIV testing, contacts with healthcare settings, and occurrence of HIV-related events 3 years prior to HIV diagnosis. During these 3 years, we assessed whether or not HIV testing had been proposed by the healthcare provider upon first contact in patients notifying that they were MSM or had HIV-related conditions.
Results: 1,008 newly HIV-diagnosed patients (mean age: 39 years; male: 79%; MSM: 53%; diagnosed with an AIDS-defining event: 16%). During the 3-year period prior to HIV diagnosis, 99% of participants had frequented a healthcare setting and 89% had seen a general practitioner at least once a year. During a contact with a healthcare setting, 91/191 MSM (48%) with no HIV-related conditions, said being MSM; 50 of these (55%) did not have any HIV test proposal. Only 21% (41/191) of overall MSM who visited a healthcare provider received a test proposal. Likewise, 299/364 patients (82%) who sought care for s had a missed opportunity for HIV testing.
Conclusions: Under current screening policies, missed opportunities for HIV testing remain unacceptably high. This argues in favor of improving risk assessment, and HIV-related conditions recognition in all healthcare facilities.