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January 14, 2009

Estimating Incidence of HIV Infection in Uganda

JAMA. 2009;301(2):159-161. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.953

To the Editor: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) surveillance is in need of a practical and valid method to measure recent HIV incidence rates, and the BED test (a test developed for HIV subtypes B, E, and D)1 is increasingly being used for this purpose. However, we are greatly concerned over claims of validity given the confusing results this test generates. In their study of risk factors for recent HIV infection in Uganda, Dr Mermin and colleagues2 used this test to estimate incidence in Uganda as 1.8 per 100 person-years at risk (pyar) among 15- to 59-year-olds. The greatest incidence rates were for 35- to 39-year-old women (3.5/100 pyar) and 30- to 34-year-old men (2.8/100 pyar).