Human Immunodeficiency Virus Screening in Taiwan, 2004-2008

Hui-Rong Liu, Chin-Chun Tang, Yen-Fang Huang, Chin-Hui Yang

2010 Vol.26 NO.13

Correspondence Author: Hui-Rong Liu


The three major routes of transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) include blood, sexual encounter, and vertical maternal-fetal transmission. Taiwan reported the first case of HIV infection in 1984. Since then, a variety of active and passive screening strategies has been implemented. When hospitals and clinics identified new cases of HIV, they were immediately referred to appointed HIV hospitals for further diagnosis and treatment. In addition, surveillance among susceptible high risk population, and screening of new military recruits, inmates, blood donor, patients with sexually transmitted diseases, inpatient intravenous drug abusers, and pregnant women, and anonymous screening were also implemented. From 2004 to 2008, an average of 2,504,455 screenings were performed among people 18 to 64 years of age each year in Taiwan. The overall proportion of individuals screened in these age groups was 16.2%. The proportion of males and females screened were 20% and 12.3%, respectively. Despite the effort to collect primary and secondary data through various official government channels, this study still was not able to obtain complete screening data from hospital physical examinations and non-government organizations that provided HIV screening service. As a result, the proportion of individuals screened among the population may be underestimated. We suggest that efforts should be made to improve the rate of screening. In addition to continuing the existing education, consultation and screening programs among susceptible risk population, mass HIV screening campaigns may be considered in order to raise the awareness of the risk of HIV and encourage the use of HIV screening among the population. These strategies should facilitate the early detection of HIV infection.