The effect of a "universal antiretroviral therapy" recommendation on HIV RNA levels among HIV-infected patients entering care with a CD4 count greater than 500/μL in a public health setting

Elvin H. Geng, C. Bradley Hare, James O. Kahn, Vivek Jain, Tracy Van Nunnery, Katerina A. Christopoulos, Steven G. Deeks, Monica Gandhi, Diane V. Havlir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. On 1 January 2010, a large, publicly funded clinic in San Francisco announced a "universal ART" approach to initiate antiretroviral therapy (ART) in all human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons. The effect of changing guidance on real-world patient outcomes has not been evaluated.Methods. We evaluated untreated adult patients (defined as going >90 days without ART use) visiting clinic from 2001 to 2011. The cumulative incidence of HIV RNA suppression (viral load, <500 copies/mL), stratified by CD4 cell count at entry and calendar dates representing guideline issuance, were estimated using a competing risk framework. A multivariate Poisson-based model identified factors associated with HIV RNA suppression 6 months after clinic entry.Results. Of 2245 adults, 87% were male, and the median age was 39 years (interquartile range, 33-45 years). In 534 patients entering clinic with a CD4 cell count of >500 cells/μL, the 1-year incidence of HIV RNA suppression was 10.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.6%-14.6%) before 4 April 2005; 9.1% (95% CI, 3.6%-17.4%) from 4 April 2005 to 1 December 2007; 14.1% (95% CI, 7.5%-22.8%) from 1 December 2007 to the universal ART recommendation and 52.8% (95% CI, 38.2%-65.4%) after. After adjustment, the SFGH policy was associated with a 6-fold increase in the probability of HIV RNA suppression 6 months after clinic entry.Conclusions. Recommendations to initiate ART in all HIV-infected patients increased the rate of HIV RNA suppression for patients enrolling in care with a CD4 cell count of >500 cells/μL and may foreshadow national trends given the March 2012 revision of national treatment guidelines to favor ART initiation for persons with CD4 cell counts of >500 cells/μL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1690-1697
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume55
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2012
Externally publishedYes

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