Tracing sexual contacts of HIV-infected individuals in a rural prefecture, Eastern ChinaReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 12:533

Infectious Disease epidemiology


BackgroundContact tracing is especially useful for identifying an infection with few cases in the population, such as HIV in China. Little such research is available in China.

MethodsEvery newly diagnosed HIV case from 2008–2010 in Taizhou Prefecture, Zhejiang Province in China, was invited to participate as an -index case- in a contact tracing survey by providing contact information for up to eight sexual contacts who themselves were approached for voluntary HIV counseling and testing VCT. Those who tested HIV-positive were then subjected to another contact tracing survey. This process was repeated until no more sexual contacts were reported or tested positive.

ResultsA total of 463 HIV-infected individuals were newly identified during the study period, including 338 cases who were identified from routine surveillance programs and 125 cases who were identified from the present contact tracing survey. Among these 463 cases, 398 86.0% served as ‘index cases’ in the survey, including 290 85.8% out of the 338 cases identified from routine surveillance programs and 108 86.4% out of the 125 cases identified from the present survey. These 398 ‘index cases’ reported a total of 1,403 contactable sexual contacts, of whom 320 22.8% received HIV testing and 125 39.1% tested positive for HIV. Willingness to receive HIV testing was high among spouses and long term heterosexual or homosexual partners but extremely low among casual and commercial sex partners of ‘index cases’. Consistent condom use was rare for all participants. A total of 290 independent sexual network components were constructed, with high complexity.

ConclusionContact tracing is useful for identifying new HIV infections from spouses or long term sexual partners of HIV-infected individuals. The complicated sexual networks existing between and beyond HIV-infected persons provide opportunities for rapid spread of HIV in such areas.

KeywordsContact tracing Sexual behavior Sexual networks HIV testing HIV infection AbbreviationsHIVHuman immunodeficiency virus

AIDSAcquired immunodeficiency syndrome

VCTVoluntary HIV counseling and testing

STIsSexually transmitted infections

ARTAntiretroviral treatment

ELISAEnzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

MSMMen having sex with men.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-12-533 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Haijiang Lin - Na He - Yingying Ding - Danhong Qiu - Weiming Zhu - Xing Liu - Tiejun Zhang - Roger Detels


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