Late diagnosis of HIV remains a major challenge in the HIV epidemic. In Europe, about 50% of all people living with HIV are diagnosed late after infection has occurred. Insight into the reasons for late diagnoses is necessary to increase the number of early diagnoses and optimize treatment options. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 34 late-presenters through in-depth semi-structured interviews. A variety of reasons for late diagnoses emerged from our data and led to a division into four groups, characterized by two dimensions. Regarding vocational functioning, the consequences of late diagnoses were health-related problems prior to and since diagnosis, and problems concealing the HIV status. Healthcare providers should offer HIV tests to groups at risk, and be alert for clinical HIV indicator conditions. It is recommended to increase awareness of HIV transmission routes, symptoms and tests, and the benefits of early testing and early entry to HIV care.

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AIDS & Behavior
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Opstal, S. E. M., van der Zwan, J., Wagener, M., Been, S., Miedema, H., Roelofs, P., & van Gorp, E. (2018). Late Presentation of HIV Infection in the Netherlands: Reasons for Late Diagnoses and Impact on Vocational Functioning. AIDS & Behavior, 1–11. doi:10.1007/s10461-018-2082-9