Background: There has been an increasing number of immigrants to Chile in the last years, especially from South American countries. The phenomenon of immigration and its consequences has been studied by international literature, and different health care needs have been reported for this group as compared with local population. In Chile this phenomenon is poorly studied and HIV prevention campaigns are focused on national population needs.
Objective: To determine baseline clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the HIV infection in Latin-American immigrants presenting to a referral HIV clinical care centre between the years 2003-2013.
Methods: Retrospective analysis. Baseline characteristics of Latin-American immigrants at admission to the infectious disease unit were compared to a peered group of Chileans in the same unit.
Results: There was an increase in the number of immigrants trough out the observation period. Foreigners presented larger proportion of women (26% vs. 9%) and heterosexual conduct as compared to nationals (37% vs 22%). The majority of immigrants came from Peru (55%) and Colombia (12%).
Conclusions: There were significant differences in regards to gender and sexual behavior. This brings up the need to address different prevention strategies with more emphasis in women and heterosexual population in this vulnerable group.