How Well Are We Performing the Initial Assessment of HIV-Positive Patients?

Results From a Multicentre Cohort in Spain

I Suárez-García; B Alejos; E Delgado; M Rivero; JA Pineda; I Jarrin


HIV Medicine. 2020;21(2):128-134. 

In This Article


During the study period, 14 458 patients were included in CoRIS. We excluded 1074 patients who did not have a follow-up visit between 1 and 12 months after enrolment and two centres (n = 556 patients) that were not reporting data at the time of the study. Thus, we included 12 828 patients, of whom 1985 (15.5%) were women. The median age was 35.3 years (IQR 29.0–42.8 years) and the median CD4 count was 397 cells/μL (IQR 214–594 cells/μL) at enrolment. The country of origin was Spain in 59.4%, other European countries in 14.5%, non-European countries in 25.6%, and unknown in 0.4% of the patients.

The percentage of patients who had each examination performed is shown in Table 1. CD4 count and viral load measurements were performed in the majority of the patients, but the other examinations were performed less frequently. Assessment of blood pressure and smoking status and latent tuberculosis screening were performed in less than half of the patients. The percentage of patients who had initial examinations of CD4 count and viral load was consistently > 98.0% during the whole study period; for the other examinations, the temporal trends are shown in Figure 1. Examinations of initial hepatitis A and syphilis serology, total cholesterol, plasma creatinine, blood pressure and smoking status increased in frequency gradually during the study period.

Figure 1.

Percentage of patients who had each initial determination performed, by year of enrolment. (a) Hepatitis A, B and C serologies; (b) syphilis serology, total cholesterol and plasma creatinine; (c) blood pressure, smoking status, and screening for latent tuberculosis.

The multivariable analysis exploring factors associated with not performing each examination is shown in Table 1. Most of the examinations were less frequently performed in injecting drug users (IDUs) and heterosexual patients compared to men who have sex with men (MSM). Patients with a lower education level were less likely to have CD4 count, hepatitis A and B serology, and smoking status determined. Patients of non-European origin were more likely to have hepatitis A serology and latent tuberculosis screening performed, and older patients were more likely to have their blood pressure measured.