What is the incidence of early symptomatic HIV infection in the US?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert J Carpenter, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: John Bartlett, MD  more...
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In 2006, a study of people requesting HIV testing at a sexually-transmitted diseases (STD) clinic in San Francisco found 136 new HIV infections in 3,789 people tested; 8% of those with HIV infection were acutely infected (antibody findings negative, antigen findings positive). This study found that acute HIV infections were associated with having a known HIV-positive partner within the past 12 months and a history of hepatitis B, syphilis, or Chlamydia infection in the past 2 years. [4]

A larger, prospective study of 109,250 people seeking HIV testing in North Carolina found 606 new HIV infections, 4% of which were acute infections (antibody findings negative, antigen findings positive). Seventy percent of the acute HIV infections were in people who were tested at STD clinics. [5]

As of 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a roughly stable incidence of HIV infection among all ethnicities, with black/African American bearing much of the burden of disease; there are an estimated 40,000 new HIV infections per year in the United States.

Clearly, the prevalence of acute HIV infection varies and depends on geography, as well as demographics of the population tested. Early symptomatic HIV infection has no reported racial predilection, affects both sexes, and can occur in individuals of any age.

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