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Minerva Ginecol. 2000 Dec;52(12 Suppl 1):34-7.

[Screening for HIV-1 infection targeted to women at a center for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Comparison between 2 periods of 5 years of work].

[Article in Italian]

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Unità Operativa AIDS, Centro Malattie Sessualmente Trasmesse, Roma.



To determine changes over time in the proportion of individuals requesting HIV-1 testing represented by women and in the HIV-1 prevalence among women attending a centre for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in Rome Italy.


We analysed the computerised clinical records of all women undergoing HIV-1 testing in two five-year periods (i.e., 1985-89 and 1993-97).


In the period 1985-89, 2,605 individuals underwent HIV-1 testing; 605 (23.2%) of these individuals were women. In the period 1993-97, 5,981 individuals were tested; 2,015 (33.7%) were women. When analysing the proportion of women tested by exposure category, there was an increase in the proportion of non-drug-using heterosexual women (75.5% in 1985-89 vs. 84.6% in 1993-97) and of women from geographical areas endemic for HIV (1.8% vs. 5.5%, respectively), where as there was a decrease in the proportion of tested women represented by intravenous drug users (12.4% vs. 2.7%). Overall, the prevalence of HIV-1 infection among women decreased (8.8% in 1985-89 vs. 5.0% in 1993-97). When considering specific exposure categories, the prevalence increased among partners of HIV-1 infected males (8.7% vs. 36.5%) and among women from endemic areas (2.8% vs. 9.3%).


The increased proportion of women requesting HIV-1 testing, especially those reporting at-risk heterosexual behaviour, suggests that women are generally more informed with regard to the risks of sexual transmission. However, the increase in HIV-1 prevalence among women with an HIV-1-infected partner and those from endemic areas suggests that programmes for preventing sexual transmission need to be improved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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