A systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the time from HIV infection to diagnosis for people with HIV


Timely HIV diagnosis is critical to minimizing transmission events. We sought to estimate the meantime from HIV infection to diagnosis and its temporal trend among people with HIV. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a search of MEDLINE, Embase, and Google Scholar, supplemented by a hand search of bibliographies of articles, was conducted. Study information and outcome measures of time from HIV infection to diagnosis were synthesized. Random-effects metaanalyses were performed. The search identified 12 articles from 4541 unduplicated citations. Studies were conducted in the UK (k = 3), US (k = 3), France (k = 2), Australia (k = 1), Switzerland (k = 1), Netherlands (k = 1), and China (k = 1). The pooled meantime from HIV infection to diagnosis was 3.00 years (95% confidence interval: 2.16–3.84). From 1996 to 2002, meantime reduced from 4.68 to 2.66 years. Subsequently, it increased to 3.20 years in 2003 and remained relatively stable until 2015. In sub-group meta-analyses, men who have sex with men (MSM) had a meantime of 2.62 years (1.91–3.34), while for heterosexuals and people who inject drugs, it was 5.00 (4.15–5.86) and 4.98 (3.97–5.98) years, respectively. In the high- and upper-middle-income countries included in this study, persons live with undiagnosed HIV for about 3 year before being diagnosed. This period is shorter for MSM relative to people with infections attributable to other risk factors.


Gbadamosi SO, Trepka MJ, Dawit R, Jebai R, Sheehan DM




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Linkage/engagement in care
  • Testing
    • Testing


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