Tracing the networks of recently infected persons could facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection
In the Transmission Reduction Intervention Project (TRIP), which was conducted in Greece between 2013 and 2015, researchers studied drug injector networks to evaluate the effectiveness of a network intervention aimed at detecting individuals with recent (within the past 6 months) HIV infection. Drug injectors were classified according to their HIV status, testing history and time of initial infection, and the networks of 23 drug injectors with recent HIV infection and of 19 drug injectors with long-term HIV infection were traced for two steps.
The total number of network members among individuals with recent and long-term HIV infection was 171 and 65, respectively. The number of network contacts who were newly diagnosed with HIV was 5 times greater among individuals with recent versus long-term HIV infection (ratio, 5.23, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.54–27.61). Similarly, among HIV-infected network members, the proportion of individuals with recent infection was 3 times greater in the networks of drug injectors who were themselves recently infected (27% vs 8%; ratio, 3.30, 95% CI, 1.04–10.3).