Newly Diagnosed HIV/STI Patients often have Individuals with Undiagnosed HIV in their Social Network

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“High risk persons tend to associate with other persons who engage in similar high risk activities,” write the authors. “Even in the context of a generalized HIV epidemic, STI and HIV risk was not evenly distributed, but rather, clustered in social networks.”

Asking patients newly diagnosed with HIV or a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to recruit contacts in their social network for HIV/STI screening is an effective way of detecting previously undiagnosed infections, investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The study was conducted in Malawi. Patients were asked to recruit up to five individuals from their social or sexual network for testing.

“Asking STI patients to recruit their social contacts was a feasible, effective and efficient way of diagnosing new HIV cases in a generalized epidemic,” write the authors. “To identify one new case of HIV infection only 8-10…

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