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Open Access Research article

A three-source capture-recapture estimate of the number of new HIV diagnoses in children in France from 2003–2006 with multiple imputation of a variable of heterogeneous catchability

Vanina Héraud-Bousquet1*, Florence Lot1, Maxime Esvan1, Françoise Cazein1, Corinne Laurent2, Josiane Warszawski3 and Anne Gallay1

Author affiliations

1 Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Département des maladies infectieuses, St Maurice, France

2 Inserm CESP U1018, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre. AP-HP, Service de santé publique, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France

3 Inserm CESP U1018, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre. Université Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin Bicêtre. AP-HP, Service de santé publique, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France

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Citation and License

BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:251  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-251

Published: 10 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Nearly all HIV infections in children worldwide are acquired through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding. The objective of our study was to estimate the number and rate of new HIV diagnoses in children less than 13 years of age in mainland France from 2003–2006.

Methods

We performed a capture-recapture analysis based on three sources of information: the mandatory HIV case reporting (DOVIH), the French Perinatal Cohort (ANRS-EPF) and a laboratory-based surveillance of HIV (LaboVIH). The missing values of a variable of heterogeneous catchability were estimated through multiple imputation. Log-linear modelling provided estimates of the number of new HIV infections in children, taking into account dependencies between sources and variables of heterogeneous catchability.

Results

The three sources observed 216 new HIV diagnoses after record-linkage. The number of new HIV diagnoses in children was estimated at 387 (95%CI [271–503]) from 2003–2006, among whom 60% were born abroad. The estimated rate of new HIV diagnoses in children in mainland France was 9.1 per million in 2006 and was 38 times higher in children born abroad than in those born in France. The estimated completeness of the three sources combined was 55.8% (95% CI [42.9 – 79.7]) and varied according to the source; the completeness of DOVIH (28.4%) and ANRS-EPF (26.1%) were lower than that of LaboVIH (33.3%).

Conclusion

Our study provided, for the first time, an estimated annual rate of new HIV diagnoses in children under 13 years old in mainland France. A more systematic HIV screening of pregnant women that is repeated during pregnancy among women likely to engage in risky behaviour is needed to optimise the prevention of MTCT. HIV screening for children who migrate from countries with high HIV prevalence to France could be recommended to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment.