[Prevention practices of primary health care physicians in Switzerland in the context of the HIV/Aids epidemic: changes between 1990 and 2002].

Title[Prevention practices of primary health care physicians in Switzerland in the context of the HIV/Aids epidemic: changes between 1990 and 2002].
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMeystre-Agustoni, G, Jeannin, A, Dubois-Arber, F
JournalRev Epidemiol Sante Publique
Date Published2007 Apr
KeywordsCross-Sectional Studies, Disease Outbreaks, Female, HIV Infections, Humans, Male, Mass Screening, Physician's Practice Patterns, Primary Health Care, Questionnaires, Switzerland

BACKGROUND: Individual preventive counseling offered to the general public by private doctors working in primary health care is an essential component of the Swiss National Aids Prevention strategy. Surveys were conducted to assess to what extent they fulfill this role and how this may have changed over time.

METHODS: Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 1990, 1995, and 2002 by anonymous mailed questionnaire in a random sample of primary health care physicians. Dimensions of the physicians HIV prevention practices investigated were: practice of HIV risk assessment, content and frequency of HIV pretest counseling, and, in 2002 only, care of patients living with HIV/AIDS. Trends over the 12-year period were calculated; logistic regressions were performed to investigate factors associated with the frequency of counseling given to HIV positive patients.

RESULTS: Risk assessment has increased dramatically over the period for certain groups of patients (patients requesting contraception, young people and new patients). In 2002, routine screening is often or always performed by 93% of physicians for intravenous drug patients or patients with a sexually transmitted infection; 77% for homosexuals; 76% for patients requesting contraception; 63% for young people. It is less frequent in other groups (migrants: 40%; separated/divorced patients: 29%). More than half of physicians care for patients with HIV. Around two-thirds of physicians regularly discuss with their HIV positive patients issues related to patients' professional, social and private life. There are few differences among specialties regarding the propensity to discuss these topics.

CONCLUSION: Prevention activities by primary care physicians have increased in the last decade. Nonetheless, potential for increased prevention still exists in some areas of risk assessment and counseling.

Alternate URL


Alternate JournalRev Epidemiol Sante Publique
Citation Key / SERVAL ID2503
PubMed ID17434279


IUMSP | www.iumsp.ch
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 | dess.info@unisante.ch

Go to top