Ten-year trends in HIV prevalence among visitors to public health centers under the National HIV Surveillance System in Korea, 2000 to 2009
1 Division of AIDS, Center for Immunology and Pathology, Korea National Institute of Health, Osong, Cheongwon-gun Chungcheongbuk-do, 363-951, South Korea
2 Division of HIV and TB control, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Osong, Cheongwon-gun Chungcheongbuk-do, 363-951, South Korea
BMC Public Health 2012, 12:831 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-831Published: 28 September 2012
Korea saw a sharp increase in HIV diagnosis from 2000. This serious public health concern must be monitored diligently. We identified the characteristics and trends in HIV prevalence among visitors to public health centers (PHCs) from 2000 to 2009.
We retrieved ten-year data of HIV tests from 253 PHCs. The HIV prevalence was analyzed by gender, age, nationality, region, and reason for HIV testing. Data were analyzed using logistic regression and score test for trend.
HIV prevalence among PHCs’ visitors has rapidly increased for six years since 2000, decreased from 2006, and then remained stable. Approximately 50% of total HIV tests were performed for sexually transmitted infection risk group (STI RG), who were tested 1.4 times within a year. Women and the 20s comprised approximately 70% and 40% of PHCs’ visitors, respectively. The prevalence of voluntary test takers was the highest and showed most rapid increase (P = 0.007), but that of prisoners declined (P = 0.003). The prevalence of STI RG was lower than those of the other groups and remained stable throughout the ten-year period (P = 0.606). Percentage of anonymous tests was 2–3% of a total HIV tests, but overall HIV-positive rate showed a rapid increase (P < 0.001).
As voluntary or anonymous testing groups are actively engaged in learning their status of HIV, these groups showed the highest in HIV infection. Groups in the population with these characteristics should be located and encouraged to be tested, and offered anonymity. This study suggests that it is important to ascertain the characteristics of people choosing to take voluntary testing.