Factors associated with presenting late or with advanced HIV disease in the Netherlands, 1996-2014: results from a national observational cohort

Eline L.M. Op de Coul*, Ard van Sighem, Kees Brinkman, Birgit H. van Benthem, Marchina Ende, Suzanne Geerlings, Peter Reiss, - ATHENA study group, Hannelore Bax

*Corresponding author for this work

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Early testing for HIV and entry into care are crucial to optimise treatment outcomes of HIV-infected patients and to prevent spread of HIV. We examined risk factors for presentation with late or advanced disease in HIV-infected patients in the Netherlands.


HIV-infected patients registered in care between January 1996 and June 2014 were selected from the ATHENA national observational HIV cohort. Risk factors for late presentation and advanced disease were analysed by multivariable logistic regression. Furthermore, geographical differences and time trends were examined.


Of 20,965 patients, 53% presented with late-stage HIV infection, and 35% had advanced disease. Late presentation decreased from 62% (1996) to 42% (2013), while advanced disease decreased from 46% to 26%. Late presentation only declined significantly among men having sex with men (MSM; p <0.001), but not among heterosexual males (p=0.08) and females (p=0.73). Factors associated with late presentation were: heterosexual male (adjusted OR (aOR), 1.59; 95% CI 1.44 to 1.75 vs MSM), injecting drug use (2.00; CI 1.69 to 2.38), age ≥ 50 years (1.46; CI 1.33 to 1.60 vs 30-49 years), region of origin (South-East Asia 2.14; 1.80 to 2.54, sub-Saharan Africa 2.11; 1.88 to 2.36, Surinam 1.59; 1.37 to 1.84, Caribbean 1.31; 1.13 to 1.53, Latin America 1.23; 1.04 to 1.46 vs the Netherlands), and location of HIV diagnosis (hospital 3.27; 2.94 to 3.63, general practitioner 1.66; 1.50 to 1.83, antenatal screening 1.76; 1.38 to 2.34 vs sexually transmitted infection clinic). No association was found for socioeconomic status or level of urbanisation. Compared with Amsterdam, 2 regions had higher adjusted odds and 2 regions had lower odds of late presentation. Results were highly similar for advanced disease.


Although the overall rate of late presentation is declining in the Netherlands, targeted programmes to reduce late HIV diagnoses remain needed for all risk groups, but should be prioritised for heterosexual males, migrant populations, people aged ≥ 50 years and certain regions in the Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere009688
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2017

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-27-01
  • EMC MM-04-28-01
  • EMC MM-04-28-04
  • EMC MM-04-54-08-A


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