Study Reveals New Indicators for HIV Patients

HIVA pan-European HIV initiative coordinated from Copenhagen namely “HIV in Europe” has suggested adding a number of new diseases to the list of risk indicators for people who are suspected of carrying the deadly virus.

An international study has clearly depicted that many diseases like herpes, zoster and certain forms of cancer, ought to be on the list of indicators for having HIV. This would help health care professionals in diagnosing and treating HIV, which attacks and weakens a patient's immune system.

It is estimate that over 2.5 million Europeans are HIV positive, out of which over 900,000 are unaware of their condition, which is a very worrying fact. What is more alarming is that over half of the people living with HIV are diagnosed very late in course of their HIV infection.

Professor Jens Lundgren of Copenhagen University, who also is the Chairman of the initiative, stated the importance of this amendment and said, “We need to find people suffering with HIV sooner in to order treat it properly but doing so requires that doctors and other healthcare professionals offer tests to people with diseases indicative of a hidden and undiagnosed HIV infection earlier in the course of the disease".

In a study of about 3,600 patients since 2009, the initiative has investigated eight new diseases to find out, how often they have proven to be signs of an undiagnosed HIV infection. Although it is stressed that it is just a precautionary measure and it is not necessary that these indictors mean a patient is HIV, but the chances are much greater with these indicators.

The initiative mentioned that it will submit a complete report of the results and put forward guidelines for HIV indictors at an international HIV conference stated to be held on March 19-20.