Enhanced U.S. army HIV diagnostic algorithm used to diagnose acute HIV infection in a deployed soldier

Shilpa Hakre*, Robert M. Paris, Julie E. Brian, Jennifer Malia, Eric E. Sanders-Buell, Sodsai Tovanabutra, Bryan C. Sleigh, James E. Cook, Nelson L. Michael, Paul T. Scott, Dan R. Deuter, Steven B. Cersovsky, Sheila A. Peel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Antibody screening alone may fail to detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in recently infected individuals. By U.S. Army regulation, HIV-infected soldiers are not permitted to deploy to areas of conflict, including Iraq and Afghanistan. We report here the first case of acute HIV infection (AHI) in a soldier in a combat area of operation detected by an enhanced U.S. Army HIV testing algorithm and discuss features of the tests which aided in clinical diagnosis. We tested the sample from the AHI case with a third generation HIV-1/HIV-2 plus O enzyme immunoassay, HIV-1 Western Blot, and a qualitative HIV-1 ribonucleic acid molecular diagnostic assay. Risk factors for HIV acquisition were elicited in an epidemiologic interview. Evaluation of the blood sample for AHI indicated an inconclusive serologic profile and a reactive HIV-1 ribonucleic acid result. The main risk factor for acquisition reported was unprotected sexual intercourse with casual strangers in the U.S. while on leave during deployment. The clinical diagnosis of AHI in a combat area of operation is important. Diagnosis of HIV is key to preventing adverse effects to the infected soldier from deployment stressors of deployment and further transmission via parenteral or sexual exposures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-613
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


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