About 58 percent of U.S. residents living with diagnosed HIV had a fully suppressed viral load in 2014. Behind this figure were wide disparities in viral suppression rates based on jurisdiction, race and transmission category.
Publishing their findings in the Journal of Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers analyzed data from the National HIV Surveillance System reported to the CDC through 2016.
Full data were available from 37 states and Washington, DC.
A total of 57.9 percent of the overall population of people with diagnosed HIV were virally suppressed in 2014. An estimated 47.3 percent of those living with HIV, regardless of their diagnosis status, were virally suppressed. A total of 65 percent of whites were virally suppressed, compared with 51.5 percent of Blacks and 58.2 percent of Latinos. Similar disparities were seen in most jurisdictions.
For the most part, older individuals were more likely to be virally suppressed than younger ones. This disparity was narrower in the Northeast, where the proportion of older people with diagnosed HIV with viral suppression was 14 percent greater than that of their younger counterparts; for all other regions, this figure was 20 percent.
The study authors found that men who reported that they had likely contracted the virus through sex with men had the highest viral suppression rate, at 61.2 percent. Males who likely contracted HIV through injection drug use had the lowest rate, at 48.4 percent.
Among those who received a diagnosis of HIV in 2014, 68.2 percent were virally suppressed within 12 months of their diagnosis. Montana had the highest rate on this mark, at 92.3 percent, while the District of Columbia had the lowest, at 59.7 percent. The average time between diagnosis and viral suppression was 6.9 months, ranging from 4.5 months in Montana to 7.8 months in Mississippi and the District of Columbia.
“These data highlight the need for tailored interventions at the local level,” the study authors concluded. “In addition, jurisdictions with relatively low viral suppression among particular groups could adapt effective interventions from jurisdictions [that] have higher rates of suppression.”
To read the study abstract, click here.