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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Estimation of hospital-based HIV seroprevalence as a nationwide scale by novel method; 2002-2008 in Korea

Jin-Hee Lee1, Kee-Jong Hong12, Jin-Sook Wang1, Sung Soon Kim1 and Mee-Kyung Kee1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of AIDS, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Seoul, Korea

2 Division of Influenza Viruses, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Seoul, Korea

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:739  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-739

Published: 30 November 2010



In Korea, approximately 70% of HIV-positive individuals are currently diagnosed in hospitals, while most HIV-positive patients were diagnosed at public health centers in 1980 s and 1990 s. However, there are no reporting systems to identify how many HIV tests are performed in the Korean hospitals different from public health centers and Blood centers. We estimated how many HIV tests were performed in hospitals and analyzed the nationwide hospital-based HIV seroprevalence in the present study.


Between 2002 and 2008, data included HIV tests on insurance claims in hospitals and the proportion of computerized insurance claims from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Services. The number of HIV tests from the survey in the External Quality Assurance Scheme for hospital laboratories was collected to calculate the insurance claim proportion. HIV seroprevalence was estimated using data of tested individuals, including infected individuals. Statistical analysis was confirmed with the 95% confidence interval. Statistical significance was defined at p-values < 0.05.


The number of HIV tests in hospitals increased from 2.7 million in 2002 to 5.0 million in 2008. The trend of HIV seroprevalence was decrease (1.5-1.3 per 10,000 individuals, P < 0.0028), except in 2002. The number of women tested was greater than men, and the proportion increased in older individuals and in small towns. Men had a higher annual HIV seroprevalence than women (P < 0.0001). The annual seroprevalence decreased in men (P = 0.0037), but was stable in women. The seroprevalence in the 30-39 year age group demonstrated higher than other age groups except 2008.


The nationwide hospital-based number of HIV tests and seroprevalence were estimated using a new method and seroprevalence trends were identified. This information will facilitate improvement in national HIV prevention strategies.