Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

The UK Register of HIV Seroconverters: methods and analytical issues

UK Register of HIV Seroconverters (UKRHS) Steering Committee*


A Register of HIV-infected persons who have had a negative antibody test within 3 years of their first antibody positive test (seroconverters) is being set up in the UK to monitor the distribution of times from HIV seroconversion to AIDS (the incubation period) and to death. It will also provide a national resource for use by those designing studies in this group of individuals. Clinicians caring for HIV-positive persons in Genito-Urinary Medicine, Infectious Disease and other departments throughout the UK were asked to participate by providing information on eligible subjects. Most laboratories undertaking HIV antibody testing were also contacted and asked to provide the name of the attending clinician for all seroconverters identified through the HIV laboratory reporting systems of the PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) and the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH) and for any other seroconverters known to them but not identified by CDSC or SCIEH. Data items sought for the Register include: sex, ethnic group, probable route of HIV transmission, annual CD4 counts, details of therapy and prophylaxis prescribed, AIDS-defining events and vital status. Follow up information is collected annually. Wherever possible, all seroconverters known to a clinic have been identified, whether currently alive or dead, either from clinic records or laboratory reporting or both. The objective is to establish and update a complete register of seroconverters on a long-term basis to provide reliable estimates of the incubation period on which future projections of AIDS cases in the UK can be made.

(Accepted March 28 1996)


* V. Beral, (Chair), ICRF Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford; A. Babiker, MRC HIV Clinical Trials Centre; UCLMS, London; R. P. Brettle, City Hospital, Edinburgh; C. Carne, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge; J. H. Darbyshiret, MRC HIV Clinical Trials Centre; UCLMS, London; B.G. Evansf, PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London; R. J. C. Gilson, Academic Dept of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, UCLMS, London; D. Goldberg, Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health, Glasgow; D. A. Hawkins, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London; D. Jeffries, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London; A. M. Johnsonf, MRC UK HIV Epidemiology Co-ordinating Centre, UCLMS, London; M. A. Johnson, Royal Free Hospital, School of Medicine, London; A. J. McMichael, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford; P. P. Mortimer, PHLS Central Public Health Laboratory, London; A. N. Phillipsf, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London; K. Porter (Project Co-ordinator), MRC HIV Clinical Trials Centre; UCLMS, London; A. Pozniak, King's College Hospital, London; J. Weber, St Mary's Hospital, London and S. Wellsteed UK Department of Health, London.