Incidence of and risk factors for bacteraemia in HIV-infected adults in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy


  • This work was presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America 48th Annual Meeting on 21–24 October 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.

  • See Appendix

Dr Baligh Ramzi Yehia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3400 Spruce Street, 3 Silverstein, Suite E, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Tel: +1 215 615 4724; fax: +1 215 662 7611; e-mail:



HIV-infected patients have an increased risk for bacteraemia compared with HIV-negative patients. Few data exist on the incidence of and risk factors for bacteraemia across time in the current era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).


We assessed the incidence of bacteraemia among patients followed between 2000 and 2008 at 10 HIV Research Network sites. This large multisite, multistate clinical cohort study collected demographic, clinical and therapeutic data longitudinally. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)-9 codes were examined to identify all cases of in-patient bacteraemia. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess risk factors for bacteraemia and trends over time in the odds of bacteraemia.


A total of 39 318 patients were followed for 146 289 person-years (PY). During the study period, there were 2025 episodes of bacteraemia (incidence 13.8 events/1000 PY). The most common bacteraemia diagnosis was ‘bacteraemia, not otherwise specified (NOS)’ (51%) followed by Staphylococcus aureus (16%) and Streptococcus species (6.5%). In multivariate analysis, the likelihood of bacteraemia was found to have increased in 2005–2008, compared with 2000. Other factors associated with higher odds of bacteraemia included a history of injection drug use (IDU), age ≥50 years, Black race and greater immunosuppression.


The likelihood of bacteraemia has risen slightly in recent years. Patients who are Black or have a history of IDU are at higher risk. Further research is needed to identify reasons for this increase and to evaluate programmes designed to reduce the bacteraemia risk.