Diagnoses of HIV-1 and HIV-2 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland associated with west Africa

S. Dougan*, B. Patel, Jennifer Tosswill, Katherine Sinka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To describe HIV diagnoses, including those of HIV-2 infection, made in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (E,W&NI) among those probably infected in west Africa, and to consider whether there is evidence for ongoing heterosexual transmission within the United Kingdom. Methods: Reports of new HIV diagnoses received at the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre were analysed. Individuals probably infected in west Africa and those infected through heterosexual intercourse within the United Kingdom by a heterosexual partner infected in west Africa were included. Results: Between 1985 and 2003 inclusive, 1324 individuals diagnosed and reported with HIV had probably been infected in west Africa, with 222 diagnoses made in 2003. 917 (69%) were HIV-1 infected and 52 (6%) HIV-2 or HIV-1/HIV-2 co-infected. For 355 (27%) the HIV type was not reported. The proportion of HIV-2 and HIV-1/HIV-2 infections varied by country of infection (p<0.001): ranging from the Gambia (11.7%-15.2%) to Nigeria (0.7%-1.0%). A further 130 individuals were probably infected through heterosexual intercourse within the United Kingdom by a heterosexual partner infected in west Africa. 89 (68%) were HIV-1 infected and three (2%) HIV-2 infected or HIV-1/HIV-2 co-infected. For 38 (29%) HIV type was not reported. Conclusion: The number of people infected with HIV in west Africa and diagnosed in E,W&NI has increased in recent years, and there is evidence of heterosexual transmission within the United Kingdom from people infected in west Africa. While numbers of HIV-2 diagnoses remain relatively low, an appreciable proportion of people infected in some west African countries and diagnosed in the United Kingdom may be HIV-2 positive, with implications for prognosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-341
Number of pages4
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

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