Epidemiological HIV infection surveillance among subjects with risk behaviours in the city of Messina (Sicily) from 1992 to 2015.


HIV infection epidemiology
unprotected sex
HIV testing
risk behaviours
prevention strategies


Introduction. Epidemiological studies are a key element to know the evolution and spread of HIV infection among the world population. The knowledge of the epidemiological dynamics improves the strategies of prevention and monitoring.

Methods. We examined 2,272 subjects who voluntarily underwent to HIV testing from January 1992 to December 2015. For each subject, an anonymous form was filled to get information on personal data, sexual habits and exposure to risk factors.

Results. The number of subjects who underwent to the screening test has increased over the years and the average age of the tested subjects has decreased over time. The main motivation to undergo HIV testing was unprotected sex. Even if the heterosexual subjects who carried out the test were more numerous of homosexuals, it is highlighted, during the years, an increase in the latter.

Conclusions. Although the number of performed tests has increased over the years, the persistence of unprotected sex shows an inadequate perception of risk. Therefore, it is necessary to implement programs to increase the general awareness of HIV infection. It is also essential to constantly monitor behaviour, risk perception and the application of the screening test via surveillance systems in order to implement effective and efficient prevention.



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