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Progression to AIDS and death for 1129 HIV seroconverters from the GEMES cohort were analysed by calendar period (1996–1997, 1998–1999, 2000 onwards). A further hazard reduction was observed for a later period for both. Intravenous drug users (IDU) had a faster progression. The results highlighted the importance of monitoring the effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy and to improve public health strategies directed to IDU to reduce inequity in HIV infection care.