Conference Coverage

More patients are achieving HIV suppression, CDC says


AT CROI 2016


BOSTON – People with HIV who get proper medical care stand a better chance than ever of achieving durable viral suppression, said investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

Data from a nationwide surveillance sample of patients receiving medical care for HIV in the United States shows that the proportion of all HIV-infected persons whose viral levels were suppressed below 200 copies/mL at their most recent visit increased from 72% in 2009 to 80% in 2013 (P for trend less than .01), reported Heather Bradley, Ph.D., of the CDC.

Dr. Heather Bradley

Dr. Heather Bradley

“These findings are really encouraging in terms of progress toward the National HIV/AIDS strategy goals of both improving the health of persons living with HIV and reducing infections,” she said at a media briefing following her presentation of data at in a CROI 2016 oral session.

The CDC investigators drew on the Medical Monitoring Project, a surveillance system that provides nationally representative data on HIV medical care to estimate the proportion of persons receiving care who achieve viral suppression at both their last tests and at all tests during the previous 12 months.

They collected data on a total of 23,125 HIV-infected persons from interviews and medical records, and looked at trends over time in viral suppression in the population as a whole and by categories of sex, age, race/ethnicity, sexual behavior, and sexual orientation.

“Encouragingly, the largest increases that we observed were seen among populations with the lowest level of viral suppression in 2009, including young people and non-Hispanic blacks,” Dr. Bradley said.

Among 18- to 29-year-olds, suppression rates improved from 56% in 2009 to 68% in 2013 (P for trend less than .001), and among non-Hispanic blacks the rates improved from 64% to 76%, respectively (P for trend less than .01).

The trend toward improved viral suppression was in fact seen in both men and in women, among all age groups, in non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics, and in men who have sex with men; men who have sex with women; and women who have sex with men.

In addition, there was significant improvement in the proportion of persons with viral suppression at all tests during the previous year, with rates growing from 58% in 2009 to 68% in 2013.

Dr. Bradley said that the improvement in viral control may be attributable to public health efforts to improve access to medical care for persons with HIV, and to promotion of early initiation of antiretroviral therapies.

The study was funded by the CDC. Dr. Bradley is a CDC employee.

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