A Quarter of a Century with AIDS

The Open AIDS Journal 3 Feb 2011 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874613601105010001


In Northwestern Spain (NWS), the annual incidence of AIDS diagnoses increased from 1984 (when the first case was diagnosed) until 1996. However, since 1996, this incidence has reduced considerably, including a notable 40% reduction between 1997 and 1998. The Galician Register of AIDS supplies information on the evolution of AIDS pathology in NWS. This report compiles data on patients who were diagnosed with AIDS in NWS between 1984 and 2008. From 1981, when the first case of AIDS was described, until December 31, 2008, a total of 3,766 AIDS cases were registered in NWS. Of these, 2,085 cases (55.4%) resulted in death. Examining data from individual provinces revealed that the highest number of cases was in A Coruña (1,548 cases) followed by Pontevedra (1,485 cases).

For almost half of the new cases of AIDS diagnosed between 2003 and 2008 (44%), less than six months passed between the diagnosis of infection and manifestations of the disease. Thus, the number of patients that do not receive early diagnosis of HIV infection has remained high.

With regard to the transmission mechanism, 64% of the cases occurring during these years resulted from needle-sharing among injected drug users (IDUs). Unprotected heterosexual and homosexual practices were responsible for 20% and 17% of the cases, respectively.

Keywords: AIDS, HIV, Northwestern Spain..
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