Publications & Reports

Trends in late and advanced HIV diagnoses among migrants in Australia; implications for progress on Fast-Track targets: A retrospective observational study.

Marukutira T, Gunaratnam P, Douglass C, Jamil MS, McGregor S, Guy R, Gray RT, Spelman T, Horyniak D, Higgins N, Giele C, Crowe SM, Stoové M, Hellard M
Public Health, Burnet Institute.


Achieving the Joint United Nations Program on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS Fast-Track targets requires additional strategies for mobile populations. We examined trends and socio-demographics of migrants (overseas-born) and Australian-born individuals presenting with late and advanced HIV diagnoses between 2008 and 2017 to help inform public health approaches for HIV testing coverage and linkage to care and treatment.We conducted a retrospective population-level observational study of individuals diagnosed with HIV in Australia and reported to the National HIV Registry. Annual proportional trends in late (CD4+ T-cell count <350 cells/muL) and advanced (CD4+ T-cell count <200 cells/muL). HIV diagnoses were determined using Poisson regression.Of 9926 new HIV diagnoses from 2008 to 2017, 84% (n = 8340) were included in analysis. Overall, 39% (n = 3267) of diagnoses were classified as late; 52% (n = 1688) of late diagnoses were advanced. Of 3317 diagnoses among migrants, 47% were late, versus 34% of Australian-born diagnoses (P < .001).The annual proportions of late (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.99-1.01) and advanced HIV diagnoses (IRR 1.01; 95% CI 0.99-1.02) remained constant. Among migrants with late HIV diagnosis, the proportion reporting male-to-male sex exposure (IRR 1.05; 95% CI 1.03-1.08), non-English speaking (IRR 1.03; 95% CI 1.01-1.05), and individuals born in countries in low HIV-prevalence (IRR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00-1.04) increased. However, declines were noted among some migrants' categories such as females, heterosexual exposure, English speaking, and those born in high HIV-prevalence countries.Late HIV diagnosis remains a significant public health concern in Australia. Small declines in late diagnosis among some migrant categories are offset by increases among male-to-male exposures. Reaching the Fast-Track targets in Australia will require targeted testing and linkage to care strategies for all migrant populations, especially men who have sex with men.

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