Preliminary results from the new HIV surveillance system in France

Publié le 1 Octobre 2004
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

In addition to AIDS surveillance, data on HIV infection are necessary to better follow the dynamics of the epidemic. We report the first results of France's mandatory anonymous HIV notification system, which is linked to a virological surveillance of recent HIV infections and of circulating HIV types, groups and subtypes. HIV notifications are initiated by microbiologists who create an anonymous code of patient's identity. Clinicians complete the notification form with epidemiological and clinical data. Notifications are sent to the local health authorities and passed to the Institut de Veille Sanitaire (InVS). Laboratories voluntarily send sera from newly diagnosed HIV infected persons on dried blood spots to the national HIV reference laboratory where an immunoassay for recent infection (< 6 months) and a serotyping assay for the determination of group and subtype are done. The virological results are then merged at the InVS with the information from the mandatory reporting. Of the first 1301 new HIV diagnoses reported in 2003, 43% were in women, and overall, 53% were in heterosexuals, of whom 47% were of sub-Saharan African origin. MSM accounted for 36% of male notifications. A dried blood spot was available for 64% of new HIV diagnoses. Evidence of recent infection was found for 38%, ranging from 22% in IDUs to 58% in MSM. Twenty-six per cent of infections in sub-Saharan migrants were recent infections. HIV-1 accounted for 98% of all notifications: 48% of these were non-B subtypes. The first results of the HIV notification system indicate that heterosexual transmission is the predominant mode of transmission and that persons originating from sub-Saharan Africa are particularly affected. Over half of infections shown to be recently acquired were in MSM; this may indicate an increased HIV incidence in this population. (R.A.)

Auteur : Lot F, Semaille C, Cazein F, Barin F, Pinget R, Pillonel J, Desenclos JC
Eurosurveillance, 2004, vol. 9, n°. 10, p. 34-7