AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 2870–2878 | Cite as

Limited Knowledge and Lack of Screening for Acute HIV Infection at Primary Care Clinics in High-Prevalence Communities of New York City

  • Javier Lopez-RiosEmail author
  • Timothy Frasca
  • Marcia J. Kindlon
  • Theresa M. Exner
  • Andrea Norcini Pala
  • Milton L. Wainberg
  • Yvette Calderon
  • Richard Cotroneo
  • Arismendi A. Jiménez
  • Robert H. Remien
Original Paper


Diagnosis and treatment of acute HIV infection (AHI) is crucial for ending the HIV epidemic. Individuals with AHI, who have high viral loads and often are unaware of their infection, are more likely to transmit HIV to others than those with chronic infection. In preparation for an educational intervention on AHI in primary health care settings in high HIV-prevalence areas of New York City, 22 clinic directors, 313 clinic providers, and 220 patients were surveyed on their knowledge and awareness of the topic from 2012–2015. Basic HIV knowledge was high among all groups while knowledge of AHI was partial among providers and virtually absent among patients. Inadequate knowledge about this crucial phase of HIV may be impeding timely identification of cases in the primary care setting.


Acute HIV infection Primary care Healthcare providers Knowledge and screening 


El diagnóstico y tratamiento de la infección aguda para el VIH (AHI por sus siglas en inglés) es crucial para detener la epidemia del VIH. Las personas con AHI, quienes tienen cargas virales altas y a menudo desconocen de su infección, son más propensas a transmitir el VIH a otras personas que aquellas con una infección crónica. En preparación para una intervención educativa sobre la AHI en clínicas de cuidado de salud primaria, localizadas en áreas de alta prevalencia para el VIH de la ciudad de Nueva York, 22 directores de clínicas, 313 proveedores de salud, y 220 pacientes fueron encuestados sobre su conocimiento de la AHI del 2012 al 2015. Todos los grupos demostraron alto conocimiento básico acerca del VIH. Sin embargo, los proveedores de salud demostraron conocimiento parcial acerca de la AHÍ, mientras que los pacientes prácticamente desconocían sobre la AHI. El conocimiento inadecuado sobre esta fase crucial del VIH puede impedir la identificación oportuna de casos de AHI en sectores de la salud primaria.



This research was supported by grant R01 MH092187 (PI: Robert H. Remien, Ph.D.) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Additional support came from a center NIMH Grant P30 MH43520 to the HIV Center for Clinical & Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University (PI: Robert H. Remien, Ph.D.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Lopez-Rios
    • 1
    Email author
  • Timothy Frasca
    • 1
  • Marcia J. Kindlon
    • 2
  • Theresa M. Exner
    • 1
  • Andrea Norcini Pala
    • 1
  • Milton L. Wainberg
    • 1
  • Yvette Calderon
    • 3
  • Richard Cotroneo
    • 2
  • Arismendi A. Jiménez
    • 4
  • Robert H. Remien
    • 1
  1. 1.HIV Center for Clinical & Behavioral StudiesNew York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.New York State Department of HealthAIDS InstituteAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of MedicineMount Sinai Beth IsraelNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Cicatelli Associates, Inc.New YorkUSA

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