Epidemiology and Infection

The relationship between HIV seroconversion illness, HIV test interval and time to AIDS in a seroconverter cohort

F. TYRER a1, A. S. WALKER a1, J. GILLETT a1 and K. PORTER a1c1
a1 MRC Clinical Trials Unit, London, UK

Article author query
tyrer f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
walker a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
gillett j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
porter k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Seroconversion illness is known to be associated with more rapid HIV disease progression. However, symptoms are often subjective and prone to recall bias. We describe symptoms reported as seroconversion illness and examine the relationship between illness, HIV test interval (time between antibody-negative and anibody-positive test dates) and the effect of both on time to AIDS from seroconversion. We used a Cox model, adjusting for age, sex, exposure group and year of estimated seroconversion. Of 1820 individuals, information on seroconversion illness was available for 1244 of whom 423 (34%) reported symptomatic seroconversion. Persons with a short test interval ([less-than-or-eq, slant]2 months) were significantly more likely to report an illness than people with a longer interval (OR 6·76, 95% CI 4·75–9·62). Time to AIDS was significantly faster (P=0·01) in those with a short test interval. The HIV test interval is a useful replacement for information on seroconversion illness in studies of HIV disease progression.

(Accepted July 15 2003)

c1 Dr K. Porter, MRC Clinical Trials Unit, 222 Euston Road, London NW1 2DA, UK.