This Denver HIV Risk Score Calculator is here to help you when you need to identify patients with high HIV or AIDS risk. Besides regular people, who, without much knowledge about medicine can get a fast test as a precaution and even doctors can use our tool for testing patients, as we will mention further in the article.

Below, you can find information for everything you may need about Denver HIV risk scores (or DHRS, abbreviated, which we will use in future), such as definition, symptoms, and how to protect yourself from potential infection, by knowing the high-risk behaviour, and HIV transmission risk for various activities.

Whether you use our website or app to access the calculator, with our simple and easy to use interface, you will be able to find the result you need. Furthermore, we need to take care of our health, so, with that in mind, check out the health section, where you will be able to find many calculators for almost anything connected to health, such as Body Fat Percentage, Heart Score and many more. 

What is HIV? HIV/AIDS definition

HIV is an acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, according to the terminology used in medicine. It is believed that HIV was transferred to humans from chimpanzees around a hundred years ago. 

HIV affects immune system cells such as helper T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells when it enters the body. Because of the CD4+ receptor on the cell surface, helper T cells are also known as CD4+ cells. The virus penetrates the cell and replicates within it, resulting in its death and the release of new viral copies. As a result, the number of helper T cells decreases over time, resulting in immune system failure. 

Some patients infected with HIV may only show signs of slick weakness and cold, and while some show symptoms soon after, a certain percentage of infected can show signs of asymptomatic phase after six to ten years. Near the end of this period, patients experience symptoms of decreased immunity. With this comes the catching of diseases that are of no danger to healthy people.

Even though today we have drugs that can slow the infection of HIV so that the patients may lead a normal life, when a person contracts the infection, they have it forever. This is the main reason why we need to know what is AIDS, their high-risk behaviours and the need for testing when in doubt, even if you have never had it before. 

AIDS symptoms

AIDS is the latest stage of HIV infection, and we can recognize it with the presence of opportunistic diseases, AIDS-related cancers, or sometimes called sentinel diseases, because they indicate HIV infection. However, to avoid getting confused, HIV and AIDS-related illnesses are not the same. While HIV is more like a signal to test the patient, AIDS indicate its progression. 

Some commonly present HIV/AIDS-related diseases include:

  • Tuberculosis.
  • HIV wasting syndrome,
  • Common cold,
  • Thrush of the oesophagus, trachea, bronchi or lungs,
  • Anaemia and decreased level of neutrophils and thrombocytes.

These and other symptoms will depend on the patient immunology system and what measures they take to control it. When there is no proper medical care, symptoms can get severe and may include:

  • Weight loss,
  • Diarrhoea,
  • Infections and problems on the skin,
  • Fewer,
  • Symptoms of extreme fatigue.

Route of infection and HIV transmission risk; high-risk behaviours for HIV

One of the routes for transferring HIV to another person can be when there is blood to blood contact due to the HIV staying in a person’s blood after getting infected. Furthermore, HIV can be transmitted by another route, by having sexual intercourse with a sick person. Finally, it can even infect an unborn child through the placenta. 

While we can’t state the dangerousness of each behaviour, there are many preventive measures and factors that a person should always consider when in a potentially dangerous situation. Below, we will mention a couple of behaviours that can get a person infected.

Route 1: Blood Contact

One way of infection is sharing needles or syringes during the injection of drugs. Even though the best way is not to take intravenous drugs, use disposable ones and never share them if it is not possible. Research showed that about ten percent of HIV infections are from injection drug use.

Route 2: Sexual Contact

Anal sex is the most common way of HIV transmission, but besides that, vaginal sex can pose a risk as well, and oral sex poses little to no risk. By using a lubricant or condom, the risk can drop significantly, but not a hundred percent guarantee.

We hope that our Denver HIV Risk Score Calculator will help, whether by testing yourself in an emergency, as a backup, or even as a doctor testing the patient.

Why do we use the DHRS Denver HIV Risk Score?

Many doctors would say that everyone should test themselves for HIV at least once, which is medically justified. Still, it is harder to get tested for many reasons in life, such as lack of time and unavailability of tests.

This is why the DHRS tool was created in the 2000s and validated by showing promising results. By using this new tool, there are fewer tests required for the identification of patients infected with HIV as non-targeted screening, which brings us a better cost-effect ratio. All this makes the DHRS a simple, fast and effective tool for urgent emergency care, and it takes nothing more than honest conversation.

Score, Risk and HIV prevalence (95% CI) – Table

DHRS, a new medical prediction tool, helps identify patients with an increased probability of HIV infection. Patients that score more than thirty points pose a greater risk of having undiagnosed infection of HIV, which means they should be tested more often.

The prevalence rate is a term that means the total number of people contracted by a certain disease. That number includes the number of newly diagnosed, those who haven’t been diagnosed, and all living with the disease. The next table shows countries with the highest HIV prevalence, according to screening done by UNAIDS. 

CountryAdult Prevalence, 2003Prevalence, 2019Living With HIV Today
Eswatini38.8%27.3%210,000
Lesotho28.9%23.6%340,000
Botswana37.3%21.9%360,000
South Africa21.5%20.4%7,700,000
Namibia21.3%13.8%230,000
Zimbabwe24.6%13.5%1,300,000
Zambia16.5%12.4%1,200,000
Mozambique12.6%12.3%1.800,000
Malawi12.2%9.2%1,000,000
Uganda6.7%6.5%1,400,000
United States0.3%0.3%1,100,000
Countries with the highest HIV prevalence rate 2003- 2019

Unfortunately, due to injection drug use, there is a steep rise in infection of HIV in countries such as Russia and Central Asia, more than a third of all infections is happening. 

Denver HIV Risk Score and an abbreviated Denver HIV Risk Score – Table

The table below represents the DHRS analysis of different ethnicities and age differences used in screening, including people who have already tested for HIV infection.

VariableCategoriesOriginal ScoreModified Score
Age<22 or >60 years
22–25 or 55–60 years
26–32 or 47–54 years
33–46 years
0
+4
+10
+12
0
+4
+10
+12
GenderFemale
Male
0
+21
0
+21
Race/EthnicityBlack
White
Hispanic
Other
+9
+3
0
0
+9
+3
0
0
Sexual practicesSex with a man
Vaginal intercourse
Receptive anal intercourse
+22
-10
+8
+22
NC
NC
Injection Drug PracticesInjection drug use+9+9
HIV TestingHaving an HIV in the past-4-4
DHRS with an abbreviated version

How to use the Denver HIV Risk Score Calculator?

Whether on our website or in the mobile Calcon app, there is an easy to understand interface for implementing the values needed, for example, during emergency patient visits. All you need to do is to follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Enter the basic information about the patient, their age and gender.
  2. Ask them about their sexual practices, where, if you are using the abbreviated DHRS, then only add 22 points if they have sex with a male; otherwise, there is no need. On the other hand, when using the original version, pick the practice that results in the highest score. 
  3. Next is to choose if the patient has already tested for HIV or any high-risk behaviours such as injection drug use. 
  4. The next and last part is to enter the patient race or ethnicity; if the patient wants to say it, it is not required. 

After entering the values, our Denver HIV risk score calculator will show the result of HIV infection in the patient and the prevalence of infection in people with the score.