Summary: The incidence of AIDS in French Guiana remains one of the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. The annual AIDS incidence rate increased continually from the start of the epidemic until 1995, when it reached 59.3/100,000 population declining thereafter to 26.6 in 1997. The prevalence of HIV in pregnant women was 0.9% in 1993, increasing to 1.3% in 1995, and that in individuals attending sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics was 2.1% in 1996. We included 224 patients in a study of survival after AIDS diagnosis. The principal AIDS-defining diagnosis was tuberculosis in 20.5% of reported cases. The median duration of survival was 10.2 months. Multivariate analysis showed that, patients >=45 years at entry progressed more rapidly to AIDS than younger patients. HIV prevention and access to health care should be developed in the various ethnic communities and adapted to cultural status. The progressive implementation of multiple antiretroviral therapies since 1996 may further reduce progression of the disease but early HIV diagnosis is required to improve the overall prognosis of HIV-infected patients.
(C) 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.