Background: Late diagnosis represents a major challenge in the control of HIV epidemics. The rate of disease progression is higher among late presenters. In Europe, HIV Clinical Indicator Diseases (CIDs) have been proposed to improve early diagnosis.
Objectives: Our observational study evaluated the presence of these HIV CIDs prior to HIV diagnosis among a population of late presenters and assessed its correlation to disease progression.
Method: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in HIV late presenters diagnosed from 2007 to 2013 at University Hospital of Ferrara (Italy). Hazard Ratios (H.R.s) for disease progression (new AIDS-events and death) were estimated by Cox proportional hazard model.
Results: We analysed 77 patients and we found that those with CIDs prior to HIV diagnosis (22%) had a 2.8 fold higher rate of disease progression compared to those without HIV CIDs (H.R. 2.82; 95% CI 1.21-6.53; P 0.02). Other factors associated with disease progression were AIDS presentation, HCV coinfection and Haemoglobin levels, with H.R.s of 3.14 (95%CI 1.23-7.99), 2.95 (95% CI 1.14-7.61) and 0.74 (95% CI 0.60-0.91), respectively.
Conclusion: HIV CIDs confer a higher risk for disease progression even after adjustment for these confounding factors. Evaluation of previous HIV CIDs at HIV diagnosis could be an additional tool to identify and better manage HIV late presenters with higher risks of disease progression.