Human Immunodeficiency Virus Seroprevalence in Community-Based Primary Care Practices, 1990-1992
A Report From the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network
Rebecca S. Miller, MS;
Larry A. Green, MD;
Paul A. Nutting, MD, MSPH;
Lyle Petersen, MD, MPH;
Linda Stewart, MD;
Guillermo Marshall, PhD;
Deborah S. Main, PhD
Arch Fam Med. 1995;4(12):1042-1047.
To estimate the seroprevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in primary care practices.
Fifty-four practices in the United States participated in an anonymous, unlinked HIV seroprevalence study between January 1990 and December 1992. Residual blood samples drawn for routine clinical tests from patients 15 to 49 years of age were centrally tested for the HIV-1 antibody for 1 month of each quarter. Information about patient demographics, clinicianrecognized risk factors, the known HIV status of the patient, and whether the blood was drawn for HIV testing was recorded with each specimen.
Of 21 998 specimens collected, 99 (0.45%) were seropositive. Of these 99 seropositive persons, 31.3% (a seroprevalence of 0.15%) were not suspected by their clinicians of being infected with HIV. Seroprevalences in men (0.96%) exceeded those in women (0.22%), and rates in rural practices (0.18%) were lower than in urban practices (0.71%). Among patients with unsuspected HIV infection, however, the gender differences, especially in rural areas, were less pronounced. Risk factors for HIV infection were infrequently noted. There was an increase in the overall seroprevalence during the 1990 to 1992 study period (0.36% to 0.53%); however, this trend was not statistically significant.
Within a 3-year period, clinicians in at least two of five primary care practices can expect to encounter patients infected with HIV, regardless of practice location. Also, nearly one third of the patients with HIV infection will not be suspected of having this condition by their clinician.
From the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network (Ms Miller and Dr Nutting) and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Drs Green, Marshall, and Main), Denver; the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Seroprevalence Epidemiology Branch, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Petersen); and the Family Medicine Center of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, La (Dr Stewart). Ms Miller is currently with the Division of Graduate Medical Education, the American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.