Gender differences in clinical manifestations before AIDS diagnosis among injecting drug users

I. J. Spijkerman, M. W. Langendam, E. J. van Ameijden, R. A. Coutinho, A. van den Hoek

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We compared incidence rates of self-reported HIV-related symptoms and illnesses, verified clinical manifestations and findings on physical examination between female and male injecting drug users (IDU) stratified by HIV serostatus in the Amsterdam cohort study on the natural history of HIV infection. HIV-positive female IDU (n = 100) reported a higher frequency of several symptoms and illnesses than male IDU (n = 139). Symptoms were reported more chronically by women compared to men, while clinical manifestations were reported by a greater proportion of women affected by these illnesses compared to men. In HIV-negative IDU (163 women and 232 men) the incidence rates were lower compared to HIV-positives, and a similar gender effect on reported symptoms and illnesses was found. Adjusting for biological, behavioral, demographic and study related variables did not change the gender effect on clinical manifestations substantially. We conclude that the gender effect among HIV-positive IDU was not caused by a differential impact of HIV infection on the incidence of the studied clinical manifestations among female and male IDU, but reflects a higher morbidity of female IDU compared to male IDU
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
JournalEuropean journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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