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Int J Infect Dis. 2018 Apr;69:44-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2018.01.021. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Preliminary evaluation of the impact of a Web-based HIV testing programme in Abruzzo Region on the prevention of late HIV presentation and associated mortality.

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Clinical Pathology Unit, Pescara General Hospital, Pescara, Italy.
Infectious Diseases Unit, Pescara General Hospital, Pescara, Italy.
Microbiology and Virology Unit, Pescara General Hospital, Pescara, Italy.
Infectious Diseases Unit, Pescara General Hospital, Pescara, Italy. Electronic address:



This study aimed to analyze the efficacy of a Web-based testing programme in terms of the prevention of late HIV presentation. The clinical characteristics of patients diagnosed with HIV via the Web-based testing programme were compared to those of patients diagnosed in parallel via standard diagnostic care procedures.


This study included the clinical and demographic data of newly diagnosed HIV patients enrolled at the study clinic between February 2014 and June 2017. These patients were diagnosed either via standard diagnostic procedures or as a result of the Web-based testing programme.


Eighty-eight new cases of HIV were consecutively enrolled; their mean age was 39.1±13.0 years. Fifty-nine patients (67%) were diagnosed through standard diagnostic procedures and 29 (33%) patients came from the Web-based testing programme. Late presentation (62% vs. 34%, p=0.01) and AIDS-defining conditions at presentation (13 vs. 1, p=0.02) were significantly more frequent in the standard care group than in the Web-based group; four of 13 patients with AIDS diagnosed under standard diagnostic procedures died, versus none in the Web-based testing group (p<0.001).


Web-based recruitment for voluntary and free HIV testing helped to diagnose patients with less advanced HIV disease and no risk of death, from all at-risk groups, in comparison with standard care testing.


AIDS; HIV; HIV diagnosis; Late presentation; Sexually transmitted infections; Voluntary and free testing

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