Background: Spain has been the European country most affected by the AIDS epidemic, and sexual transmission now accounts for the majority of cases of HIV.
Goal: The goal was to describe HIV prevalence and risk profiles among people tested for HIV in Barcelona in 1998 to 2001.
Study Design: We studied cross-sectional HIV surveys among sexually transmitted infection clinic attenders. We performed quantification of risk factors for HIV infection through odds ratios (ORs) and logistic regression.
Results: The prevalence of HIV among the 4993 persons tested was 1.8% (95% confidence interval, 1.5–2.2) without significant changes across the years. HIV prevalence in homo-/bisexual men was higher (P <0.001) at 4.8% than heterosexuals. Although men aged older than 30 compared with those younger were at increased risk, 2.56), young homosexual men were at higher risk (OR, 17.84) to be infected than young heterosexuals.
Conclusion: HIV prevalences were relatively low among all heterosexuals, but much higher among homosexual and bisexual men. The potential exists for ongoing sexual HIV transmission among homo-/bisexual men in Barcelona.
The HIV prevalence in a sexually transmitted infection clinic in Barcelona was 1.8%. Homo-/bisexual men had higher prevalences than heterosexuals. Although men aged older than 30 were at increased risk of HIV infection, young homosexual men were 18 times at higher risk than young heterosexuals.
STI Unit, Service of Primary Care Ciutat Vella, Catalan Health Institute, Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)
*The Primary Care STI Study Group (GITSAP): Encarnación Arellano, RN, Maria J. Alcalde, RN, Pere Armengol, MD, Josep M. Escribà, MD, Eva Loureiro, Dipl Stat, Pilar Saladié, RN, Benicio Sanz, MD, Mirjana Saravanya, MD, Martí Vall Mayans, MD, and Maria J. Villena, RN, (STI Unit, Service of Primary Care Ciutat Vella, Barcelona); and Isabel Rodrigo, Lic Pharm, and Marta Ris, Lic Biol (Manso Clinical Laboratory, Service of Primary Care Eixample, Barcelona). Analysis and writing committee: M. Vall Mayans, E. Loureiro, and J. M. Escribà.
Supported partially by the Spanish Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention (FIPSE) (grant no. 3.076/99), this article contributes in part to the “Prospective Study About the HIV Prevalence Among Patients From a Network of STD/HIV Centers (The EPI-VIH project).”
Correspondence: Dr. M. Vall Mayans, STI Unit, Service of Primary Care Ciutat Vella, Catalan Health Institute, Av. Drassanes 17-21, 08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. E-mail: email@example.com
Received for publication February 24, 2003,
revised July 8, 2003, and accepted July 16, 2003.