In Canada, HIV diagnoses continue unabated, with many of these cases being identified at a late stage of infection. While current public health surveillance data does not capture timing of diagnoses, locally, we identified a number of patients concurrently diagnosed with AIDS and HIV.
To understand the key characteristics, presenting symptoms, and risk factors associated with an AIDS diagnosis, we undertook a prospective chart review of HIV and AIDS diagnoses in Ottawa, Canada.
Sixty seven charts of persons diagnosed with HIV and AIDS between 2015 and 2021 were reviewed.
Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results show some inconsistencies regarding HIV risk factors identified in published literature compared to those for persons diagnosed with AIDS in this study. Namely, patients in this review were more likely to be male, Black (from HIV-endemic regions), and heterosexual, and were diagnosed at critical stage in infection (total average CD4+ count of 92.9 cells/mm ) with 44.8% of patients concurrently diagnosed with one or more AIDS-related opportunistic infections.
The findings can be applied to strengthen HIV screening efforts in primary care settings, particularly among patients who present with persistent symptoms or illnesses related to chronic HIV infection. Additional considerations should be made for public health nurses to provide counseling and linkage to HIV testing/prevention services for patients at the time of an STI or Tuberculosis diagnosis and to increase AIDS-specific data collection.

© 2022 The Authors. Public Health Nursing published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.